January 09, 2016

Antivirus software could make your company more vulnerable

Antivirus vendors don't seem too concerned about the potential for widespread attacks against their consumer products. For the most part, researchers agree that such attacks are unlikely for now because typical cybercriminal gangs have other, more popular, targets to attack such as Flash Player, Java, Silverlight, Internet Explorer or Microsoft Office. However, the creators of those widely used applications have increasingly added exploit mitigations to them in recent years, and as more people update to newer and better protected versions attackers might be forced to find new targets. Therefore, future attacks against antivirus products used by tens of millions or hundreds of millions of consumers can't be ruled out, especially if cybercriminals get their hands on previously unknown -- zero-day -- vulnerabilities, as they have done from time to time.


XL Catlin Analytics Strategy: Quality Over Quantity

Getting internally and externally sourced data ready for modeling is the bulk of the work, she explains. “Coming up with a cohesive data set probably takes four times longer than creating the model,” she says. “I would say we spend 45 percent of our time on the data, 10 percent on the model, and 45 percent on change management.” The data is housed in SAS and SQL databases , linked through ODBC connections. The team writes code in the SAS programming language to run the data analysis, relying on a code library. SQL and R are also used, to a lesser extent; SQL to extract data from source systems, and R, a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics for exploratory data analysis.


The transition from cloud back to a data center migration

Groupon began its move out of the cloud in 2011, three years after the online deal website was launched. "The biggest driver was cost," Chatha said. "It was not economically feasible for us to stay in the cloud." A motivating factor for some companies to move to the cloud is the ability to pay for it as an operating expense, rather than a capital expense. Today, base rent and utilities payments for colocation space can be treated as Opex, and hardware can be financed and paid as Opex, too, he said. Groupon's needs are more diverse than Netflix, for example, which has generated headlines about its complete move to Amazon Web Services (AWS). Netflix has its greatest need for storage, Chatha said, while Groupon needs everything, from virtual machine hosts to databases.


One-on-One Coaching Misses the Mark

Traditional coaching works with ane executive one-on-one and helps him find new approaches. Believing this approach too limited, we facilitated a meeting with the executive and his team to share the feedback we gathered. This eliminated secrecy and impressed the team. The executive had made himself vulnerable, and the team began thinking about how they could help him. Then we moved the conversation away from the executive to how the team could improve. It began discussing how better to define its collective goals, redesign meetings to make them more productive, and address issues before they became problems. The challenges the team identified, and the solutions proffered to improve performance, never would have emerged in private, one-on-one coaching sessions.


DDoS attack on BBC may have been biggest in history

A group calling itself New World Hacking said that the attack reached 602Gbps. If accurate, that would put it at almost twice the size of the previous record of 334Gbps, recorded by Arbor Networks last year. "Some of this information still needs to be confirmed," said Paul Nicholson, director of product marketing at A10 Networks, a security vendor that helps protect companies against DDoS attacks. "If it's proven, it would be the largest attack on record. But it depends on whether it's actually confirmed, because it's still a relatively recent attack."


Banks, don’t wait for your competition to become data driven

First, the upside of leveraging the potential of data science and analytics and developing data driven business models is not only a measure to increase internal process efficiency but especially to attract customers and maintain a sustainable business. Second, the risk of a “sit tight and wait” strategy is truly suicidal. Establishing a data driven business culture cannot be done over night and needs time for people training and development, letting aside the effort and time needed to choose and set up the systems and infrastructure. Recall how Google disrupted the search industry. Yahoo, Lycos and all these almost forgotten dinosaurs could never catch up over come even close to Google’s success after they had been disrupted.


The Dying Technologies Of 2016

Thinking of antique technologies, vinyl has made a comeback but CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Ray? They’re all marching to the media graveyard. Today, we stream everything we can. I still buy and own CD and DVD players, but I’m an old guy. Also, call me a Luddite, but I like having my music, videos and books in my hand, not in some distant cloud. There aren’t many of us left. Fewer and fewer PCs and laptops come with a CD/DVD player. We used to use CD/DVD drives to install software too. I rarely do that anymore. That’s not just because we download almost all our software today. It’s also because stand-alone PC software is on its way out. Accounting, office suites, customer-relationship management — you name it, we do it on the cloud now.


Project Alignment, Hiring Shortfall Top 2016 Big Data Challenges

This isn’t a new problem. Looking back even a few years ago, when it became clear that data was essentially currency, people predicted significant shortfalls in data scientists. In 2015, companies throughout the industry felt the sting acutely. Every day, new job postings go up looking for qualified data scientists. It takes time to find candidates and not every data genius is the perfect fit for every company. There may be some relief coming, with specialty certificate and alternative education programs for big data popping up from universities and other educational institutions, but it’s not an immediate fix for 2016. If companies want to fill their teams with more data scientists, my advice is to hire people in accordance to the nature of the problems companies want to solve, not all problems require advance data science.


Why your cyber insurance investment may not pay off

If you are considering cyber insurance, you are in my opinion doing the right thing. The cost of a data breach can be staggering, and many small and medium companies suffering one will not even survive. That being said, the purchase of a policy without establishing and following appropriate information security policies and procedures may well be a waste of money. Attorney Eran Kahana, a guest on episode 172 of the Down the Security Hole podcast, put is quite simply: "If you don't do security well, the courts will kill you." Since a strong security posture is necessary anyway to protect your business, the ability to meet the requirements for cyber insurance is just a bonus.  The following are some of the general thing you will need to have in place prior to seeking insurance.


The Search For The Killer Bot

As 2016 dawns, there’s a sense in Silicon Valley that the decades-old fantasy of a true digital assistant is due to roar back into the mainstream. If the trend in past years has been assistants powered by voice — Siri, Alexa, Cortana — in 2016 the focus is shifting to text. And if the bots come, as industry insiders are betting they will, there will be casualties: with artificial intelligence doing the searching for us, Google may see fewer queries. Our AI-powered assistants will manage more and more of our digital activities, eventually diminishing the importance of individual, siloed apps, and the app stores that sell them. Many websites could come to feel as outdated as GeoCities pages — and some companies might ditch them entirely.



Quote for the day:


"Deal with the world the way it is, not the way you wish it was." -- John Chambers