January 29, 2016

Growing the IoT: Chaos vs. Curation

It’s already happening, since many of the consumer IoT offerings center on, well, a center. You install a "brain" that all of the intelligent elements in your home connect with and through. It makes decisions and also has the primary connection with the cloud. The individual devices aren't doing everything among and by themselves. And in commercial, industrial and governmental areas, it's fairly obvious that pure peer-to-peer device communications without any curation won’t cut it -- something, or someone, needs to act as curator to ensure that things are handled well and properly, rules are applied and rights are respected. The Napster vs. iTunes example parallels this perfectly, and we are facing similar issues with the IoT.


What's Next? 2016 Priorities For High-Performing CIOs

In the new year, many CIOs may find themselves at a critical juncture. They can either build themselves into successful business leaders or they can risk being relegated to second tier “care and maintenance” roles in which they will provide technology support for the strategies and goals of others. Based upon hundreds of conversations we’ve had with CIOs over the past 12 months, it is clear which path high-performing IT leaders will take in 2016. We predict CIOs will take the following steps, among others, to distinguish themselves as strategists and decision makers as they proceed down the leadership path:


EU May Be Aiming to Block U.S. Tech Companies, Schumer Says

Negotiators from the U.S. and the European Union are racing to meet a Jan. 31 deadline to find a replacement for the Safe Harbor agreement that permits user data from companies like Facebook Inc. to be transferred to the U.S. The Safe Harbor pact was struck down last year by the EU’s highest court. "I am worried that the Europeans are using -- that their real motivation is to keep our companies out because they’re so superior to the European companies," Schumer, the likely successor to Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, said in an interview Wednesday. His comments come ahead of a Thursday meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Schumer has a seat. The panel is scheduled to address a bill, H.R. 1428, that would grant European citizens the same data privacy protections as U.S. citizens.


Address IoT security risks before it is too late, urges report

“In the next few years our lives will be surrounded by devices connected to the internet that will digitalise every step we take, convert our daily activities into information, distribute any interaction throughout the network and interact with us according to this information. “Never before has what we do in our physical lives been closer to the digital world. It is precisely the blurring of the line between the digital world and the real world that represents the changes introduced by the IoT. “The future of IoT is unwritten, but only through collaboration and insight can we achieve a secure foundation.” The report was developed by Telef√≥nica’s cyber security and IoT divisions in association with a range of partner organisations operating in the field of cyber security.


A Reference Architecture for the Internet of Things

In the IoT world we don’t only define the goal on the user level (i.e. by application), but things themselves can work towards certain goals without actively including the user. In the end the devices still serve the user but they act autonomously in the background – which is exactly the idea of ubiquitous computing. In order to get a better picture of the term “context” we will first introduce our context model and then jump into the introduction of our reference architecture. Context defines the state of an environment (usually the user’s environment) in a certain place at a certain time. The context model usually distinguishes between context elements and context situation. Context elements define specific context, usually on the device level.


Building a solid cloud governance model for 2016

A final consideration when building a cloud governance model is compliance. This is closely coupled with information security, but there are additional considerations. In particular, watch for details regarding users' responsibility when using a cloud service that is in compliance with a particular regulation. For example, AWS cloud services are PCI compliant, but users of those services must contract with PCI auditors to complete other requirements. Similarly, several, but not all, AWS services are suitable for use with protected healthcare data under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations. Governance strategies should prevent the use of noncompliant services, and ensure compliant services are not used in noncompliant ways.


The need for cyber security skills in Australia balloons

“Yes, they are hard to find, and if you go to an industry and bring a security expert from there, those people have been aligned in a particular areas and are focused on that area only. The best source is the big four management consultant organisations because they invest in people, technology and the soft skills set.” It’s not just end-user enterprises looking for security skills, either. The federal government is ramping up its cyber know-how with agencies such as the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and ASIS hiring, according to Acheson, and the vendor community is looking for skills too. Like corporate Australia generally, vendors are looking for a blend of abilities.


How To Protect Security Product Investments

The larger the enterprise, the more likely it is that it has many, many security tools. Staff might not learn, use, or update any number of these, perhaps either because there is something off-putting about the technology (some kind of complexity, for example) or because it is one more task on top of an already overwhelming pile. When these tools stay connected and running on the network in a misconfigured, outdated fashion, they become vulnerabilities for attacker entry and liabilities for the enterprise. Security products can come with native remote access capabilities. When enterprises use such products and leave remote access open with default or easily guessed credentials, this turns a security advantage the enterprise should leverage into a security vulnerability.


One crucial exercise for a healthy business

Many organizations, such as technology firms, that have been in this industry for years have the capacity and vision to adjust to financial downturns -- meaning strategic plans and budgets are modified periodically. Depending on their customer base or their global reach, businesses have to assure investors that they can meet market and consumer expectations. ... Conducting effective planning routinely includes an operational budget and a scorecard that aligns with the long-term business plan. With this data in hand, leadership should also have a documented analysis of the business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that govern how well the company is functioning.


Teach your team to embrace change and create an Agile mindset

Leaders must remember that people are emotionally attached to the way they work -- it is a large part of their lives -- and if they have a lot of experience in the "old" way of doing things, they will be even more emotionally attached to it. Therefore, cognitive arguments with a collection of facts about Agile, or any new idea, aren't necessarily persuasive. What is more persuasive is finding ways to help people care about those facts -- by having conversations that uncover how people are truly feeling about the new idea. Be ready -- these feelings may not necessarily be rational -- but this will allow the leader to truly address what is standing in the way of making Agile, or any new idea, happen.



Quote for the day:


"Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience." -- Paulo Coelho