October 07, 2016

Why Michael Dell is Smiling

“The open ecosystem of VMware is absolutely critical to its success,” said Dell from the same VMworld stage. “So we’re only going to continue to encourage that. That hasn’t changed, and won’t change.” It was the message that both technologists and investors attending the show wanted to hear most, even as measurable changes in the enterprise data center market place new stress and constraints upon VMware separately from Dell. While Dell Technologies will continue to be a private entity, as it has been since 2013, VMware will represent the only facet of the post-merger behemoth whose capital is tradable through common stock. VMware will be Dell’s most sensitive component to changes in investors’ moods about the infrastructure market.

Cybersecurity is just too much trouble for the general public, claims study

Yes, the typical person does feel exhausted at the prospect of having to ensure that their passwords are not just unique, more than 20 characters long, and compiled of a gobbledygook random collection of letters, characters and numbers, let alone the challenge of remembering them. But that’s where computers and smartphones come in. The most common question I am asked by members of the public is “I know I’m supposed to have lots of different, complex passwords… but how am I supposed to remember them?” Well, good news! You’re not supposed to remember them. In fact, if you can remember them you’re probably doing it wrong! Instead, invest in a decent password manager which will securely store your passwords for you and even generate properly random, complex passwords when you need to create a new account online.

Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen explains how AI will change the world

All of a sudden, you have a lot more computer science graduates coming out knowing how to do this because this has become the hot new area of computer science. You also have a lot of the engineers who have been at the big incumbents working on this stuff who are now realizing they can start their own companies. There's a whole new generation of autonomous vehicle startups that are spinning out of Google. Otto was a prominent one, but there are, like, six others that are in flight right now. Meanwhile, the technology itself is becoming more tractable. A lot of the interesting new projects we’re seeing don't need 1,500 people. They need five. Google open sourced this thing called TensorFlow, which is one of the building blocks of deep learning.

Inside the mind of a state-sponsored hacker

The anonymity of web-based attacks means that nation-states can operate via puppet actors, making it extremely difficult to prove links between individual hacks and state intelligence. Even if those links are made, it is still unlikely that analysts will be able to determine the exact origin and purpose of the orders behind them. For example, FANCY BEAR carried out the WADA breach using patterns which are strikingly similar to known Russian modi operandi. The waters are muddied, however, by the fact that they also claim allegiance with Anonymous Poland, a hacker group which ordinarily operates within the Polish political sphere and with Polish interests in mind. As a result, its purported involvement seems suspicious – it certainly doesn’t sit easily with the hack’s clearly pro-Russian motives. This ambiguity makes it extremely hard for analysts to pin down the culprit.

Inside A Bug-Hunter's Head: 6 Motivators

As a whole, the hacker community is relatively young. Nearly 60% of respondents were between 18 and 29 years old, and 34% were between 30 and 44. Most respondents either identified as students or are employed outside of bug hunting, but 15% identified themselves as full-time bug hunters, and many respondents reported they aspire to become full-time bug hunters in the future. Bugcrowd anticipated the number of full-timers is poised to grow.  Similar findings were discovered in the 2016 Bug Bounty Hacker Report from HackerOne. In this survey, 90% of respondents were under 34 years old and 43.5% were between 18 and 24 years old. They also reported a preference for web apps, with 77% stating these were their favorite hacking target. So what motivates hackers to hunt for bugs?

Can EdgeConneX Disrupt Incumbent Data Center Providers?

In 2016, EdgeConneX has now upped the ante by rolling out high-speed on-ramps for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. This nascent cloud initiative is already active in Portland and Boston in conjunction with connectivity partner Megaport. Notably, EdgeConneX has also provided the first AWS Direct Connect physical location to serve the Portland market. Access to the Big Three cloud providers is also available in Detroit, where EdgeConneX has partnered with Console to provide scalable, private, direct connections for customers. EdgeConneX also offers colocation space for managed services companies and system integrators which can facilitate enterprise hybrid cloud deployments at these cloud-enabled locations.

To the cloud, big data sisters and brothers, to the cloud

It's clear then that data ingestion is a major part of cloud-based analytics, as network latency is added to the inherent computational and I/O cost associated with ETL and/or data mapping and integration. Recently IBM claimed to be the fastest around in data ingestion, but revealing very little to substantiate this. So is this an anything goes, mine is better than yours game? Architectural blueprints, standards, and benchmarks might help clients have a better picture of the oversubscribed data infrastructure and analytics landscape and contribute towards fair comparisons, so one might wonder why don't we see more vendors publishing benchmark results for example. Snowflake's take is that this is not really due to marketing taking precedence over architecture, but more due to benchmarks not being able to catch up with the explosion in the use case diversity and cloud flexibility.

Cloud computing's true value can't be measured in dollars

The problem is companies consider IT an overhead expense with little to no strategic importance. Thus, success is measured in terms of how much money the company can save in IT operations, not how much money IT can make for the company. That's a huge mistake. I can list hundreds of companies that work with IT to their strategic advantage, including Uber, Airbnb, and nearly all travel aggregators such as Kayak.com. Note: These are not Global 2000 companies that have their heads back in the 1980s. Instead, they're new names willing to take a fresh view of business IT to reap new benefits. According to the report, “Gartner estimates, as cited by CompTIA, indicate that the public cloud services market will grow to $204 billion in global revenue this year -- a 16.5 percent increase over $175 billion in 2015.”

Most Organizations Lack Confidence In Their Data Security Measures

“When it comes to managing a data breach, having a response plan is simply not the same as being prepared,” says Michael Bruemmer, vice president at Experian Data Breach Resolution. “Unfortunately many companies are simply checking the box on this security tactic. Developing a plan is the first step, but preparedness must be considered an ongoing process, with regular reviews of the plan and practice drills.” Bruemmer says the lack of planning is especially troublesome when considering the rise of new threats, such as ransomware. “In fact, the study showed that 56 percent of surveyed organizations are not confident that they could deal with a ransomware incident. Additionally, only 9 percent of survey respondents have determined under what circumstances they would pay to resolve a ransomware incident,” Bruemmer noted.

Cyber Risk Costs Not Big Enough to Spur Investment by Businesses

“If it is true that on average that businesses lose 5 percent of their annual revenue to fraud, and that the cost of a cyber event represents only 0.4 percent of a firm’s revenues, then one may conclude that these hacks, attacks and careless behaviors represent a small fraction of the costs that firms face, and therefore only a small portion of the cost of doing business,” Romanosky said. Given that finding — and surveys that indicate consumers are mostly satisfied with the ways companies respond to data breaches — he says that businesses “lack a strong incentive to increase their investment in data security and privacy protection.” Moreover, if their losses are not out of line with other costs, he said, “maybe the firms are already doing the right thing,” making government policies to induce more precautions unnecessary.

Quote for the day:

"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending." -- Maria Robinson,