April 28, 2014

Software Is Eating the World, and It Could Eat Your Business
One might say the events of the past three years have only served to reinforce Andreessen's perspective. Today Airbnb and Uber are reshaping the lodging and taxi industries by incorporating a crowdsourcing twist to their offerings. Creating communities of users and providers, these companies threaten incumbents by coordinating information about the services without having to invest in the resources necessary to deliver the services themselves. These businesses are asset-light and information-rich. Their growth is starting to bite: One hotel chain recently hired a CIO when it realized that Airbnb's 2013 bookings represented more than half of the total provided by this chain across all of its properties around the world.

U.S. search warrant can acquire foreign cloud, email data, judge rules
The move puts the U.S. further in conflict with foreign laws, particularly European data protection and privacy law, which aim to protect data from being taken outside the 28 member state's jurisdiction. It's long been known that U.S. authorities can legally, under its own legal system, acquire data from outside the United States. But the ruling by U.S. Magistrate Judge James Francis in New York has now further entrenched existing opinions shared by U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security and the Justice Dept. into the judicial system.

High-profile breaches throw a wrench into security policy management
"You have to pay attention to the tank pointed at your front door, but you also have to be aware that there are probably termites in your house, too. Taking care of the little security items always seem to get pushed to the back burner,"Buraglio said. "There's always going to be something larger that security professionals could be working on. But in reality, if they just focused on the fundamentals -- like keeping patches up to date -- they'd be so much further along," said John Pironti, president of Rowley, Mass.-based consultancy IP Architects LLC.

Six Steps for Deploying Data Security Controls
The best approach to implementing DLP is to start small and move methodically through all the steps to fully understand the project and results. iP is a good place to start before moving to larger datasets with more owners and business processes. The six steps below for deploying data security controls come from Neil Thacker, information security and strategy officer for the Websense office of the CSO and former head of security operations for Camelot (UK national Lottery) and Deutsche Bank.

Homeland Security struggles to tempt, retain cyber talent
Experts say Homeland Security doesn't have to wait for legislation. "It's self-inflicted damage, it's not that they need something from Congress," said Alan Paller, co-chairman of a task force DHS set up two years ago to recommend ways DHS could improve its cyber force. DHS can bypass time-consuming security clearances and fight cyber attacks more efficiently by declassifying work that is not secret, said Amit Yoran, a senior vice president at security company RSA who held top DHS posts in the George W. Bush administration. He warned lawmakers about the hiring problems in 2009.

Data manipulation tricks: Even better in R
After covering a recent session on data munging with Excel, I wanted to see how those tasks could be accomplished in R. Surely anything you can do in a spreadsheet should be doable in a platform designed for heavy-duty statistical analysis! (New to R? You can get up and running with our Beginner's guide to R series.) To more easily follow these tips and code, we have a companion PDF that you can download here. (Free registration is required.) To get started, you can download the Excel Magic PDF and sample data spreadsheet and then follow along. (The original Excel tips come from MaryJo Webster, senior data reporter with Digital First Media.)

Hackonomics: The cost of getting caught
Operating within layers of secrecy and razor-sharp opsec are the players in the cybercrime black market and thus the market's behavior: the market necessitates a fanatical obsession of trying not to get caught. The fear of getting caught dictates much more about the market than its conditions. Surely this has a cost, too. To get an understanding of a hacker's potential cost of getting caught doing black market business, ZDNet spoke with a number of high-profile attorneys. Marcia Hofmann is a litigator specializing in digital rights cases who woked on Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer's case.

The Courage of the Transparent CIO
The problem with being transparent is that it is not the path that leads you to getting what you want or even what you know is best for the organization. Being truly transparent requires a degree of trust and vulnerability. You must possess enough confidence in what you're presenting and in your organization's ability to recognize the right course of action. Most important, when the organization doesn't choose what you think is the best option, you must have the courage to accept that decision.

How to Negotiate a Collaborative Outsourcing Deal
It's sad. Why do companies outsource if they can't trust their supplier? If they need to change suppliers, they could do so. But what we find is that they don't trust any suppliers. Lack of trust was something that plagued Dell in their outsourcing relationship with GENCO, which had managed Dell's North American reverse logistic operations for eight years. The two decided to have a strategic meeting in a neutral location to discuss their lack of trust and what was causing it.

7 Golden Rules for Big Data Projects
It seems every organisation has either jumped or is seriously contemplating jumping onto the Big Data bandwagon. In an industry where the hype is often followed by the despair, I feel somewhat ashamed that the IT Industry that I work in pushes the barrow often before the horse. As a result, organisations get hyped up around the advantages and the outcomes of the technology without putting in place the safeguards to ensure project success. Often when I talk to my customers about Big Data, I like to ask some basic questions to ensure that whatever we deliver is achievable and is not going to be just another piece of technology sitting on the shelf.

Quote for the day:

"The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The Leader adjusts the sails." --John C. Maxwell

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