July 11, 2014

6 Crucial Data Security Lessons the U.S. Can Learn from Other Countries
Silicon Valley may have led the digital revolution, but Washington shows few signs of adapting to the times. As a result, not only is it easier to vote for a YouTube video than for a politician, but countries like Estonia are focusing their resources and building their infrastructures to better manage a digital society. Estonia is already more advanced than the U.S. in terms of digital consciousness. Other nations like Indonesia are rapidly becoming more connected without the legacy infrastructure package present in more established countries. Soon, Indonesia will be entirely mobile. The U.S. needs to make major changes to its data infrastructure to keep up, and the first step is to mimic these innovations already in place around the world.

Cloud Security Brokers Play a Key Role
As enterprises large and small embrace cloud computing, including SaaS, a need arises for someone to sit in the middle and manage the connection between SaaS service provider and user. Enter the cloud access security broker, or CASB. The research firm Gartner placed the cloud access security broker at the top of a list of the 10 most important technologies for information security that it unveiled at the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit held in late June, in National Harbor, Md. Gartner defines CASBs as "security policy enforcement points placed between cloud services consumers and cloud services providers to interject enterprise security policies as the cloud-based resources are accessed."

Microsoft CEO Nadella: Windows is over, the future is mobile and the cloud
"More recently, we have described ourselves as a 'devices and services' company. While the devices and services description was helpful in starting our transformation, we now need to hone in on our unique strategy." So what is the new direction? It's a bit vague and hazy, but it's clearly not tied to Windows. In fact, he doesn't even get to mentioning desktop Windows until the 21st paragraph. Even then, he gives Android and iOS equal play with Windows, because he talks about the company's Enterprise Mobility Suite, which in his words enables "IT organizations to manage and secure the Windows, iOS and Android devices that their employees use, while keeping their companies secure."

The dentist will scan you now: The next generation of digital dentistry
The best integrated technology in the dental practice may have been the most humble: scheduling software on the computer in the exam room that enabled the hygienist to book my next appointment so it would coincide with the dentist's schedule and her schedule, and to provide me with the dentist's email address so I could follow up if I had any questions. Despite the promise of robotic dentistry, there's still no replacement for a professional, kind human on the horizon any time soon.

The Amazing Big Data World of Kaggle and the Crowd-Sourced Data Scientist
Although it is frequently reported that they have “over 100,000 data scientists”, these are actually registered users and competitors rather than employees. There are no qualification or experience barriers to registering as a Kaggle data scientist, previous winners have ranged from data science academics and professionals to enthusiastic, knowledgeable amateurs. However certain competitions are occasionally reserved for “masters” – those who have shown they have the right stuff through their previous work with Kaggle. The company also also recruit its own staff to work on internal projects. In fact they are advertising for recruits now – and although no requirements are listed, other than that applicants be “experienced”, two questions on the application form ask for the mean and standard deviation of two sets of numbers.

The Failure of the Modern Project and How We Fix It
A project is a relatively simple construct which has taken on gigantic proportions in IT. A project is simply a means of changing our current state to some future state using a series of tasks within an allotted timeframe. The project itself is a tool to accomplish a goal and the goal is almost never about completing the project. I do admit that certain compliance projects are time sensitive as well as certain time to market projects. But effectively, someone comes up with an idea which should accomplish a business goal. Whether the goal (performance driven) or the idea (innovation driven) comes first does not necessarily matter as long as they both end up measurable.

What is a Botnet?
Computers in a botnet, called nodes or zombies, are often ordinary computers sitting on desktops in homes and offices around the world. Typically, computers become nodes in a botnet when attackers illicitly install malware that secretly connects the computers to the botnet and they perform tasks such as sending spam, hosting or distributing malware or other illegal files, or attacking other computers. Attackers usually install bots by exploiting vulnerabilities in software or by using social engineering tactics to trick users into installing the malware. Users are often unaware that their computers are being used for malicious purposes.

Is Enterprise Architecture Completely Broken?
In fact, the notion that the practice of EA has become all about documentation rather than effecting business change is a common theme across many boardrooms and IT shops. EA generally centers on the use of a framework like The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF), the Zachman Framework™, or one of a handful of others. Yet while the use of such frameworks can successfully lead to business value, frameworks like TOGAF and Zachman “tend to become self-referential,” according to Andreetto, where EAs spend all their effort working with the framework instead of solving real problems. “Frameworks are cocaine for executives – they give them a huge rush and then they move to the next framework,” he adds.

eBook: Entity Framework Code First Succinctly
Follow author Ricardo Peres as he introduces the newest development mode for Entity Framework, Code First. With Entity Framework Code First Succinctly, you will learn the ins and outs of developing code by hand in Code First. With this knowledge, you will be able to have finer control over your output than ever before.

Navigating Innovation’s Perilous First Mile
“Either end of the spectrum is dangerous. At one extreme is ‘paralysis by analysis.’ Too many innovators create elegant pieces of Microsoft fiction. The Excel spreadsheet features ‘what if’ analyses and pivot tables that would rival those created by a seasoned investment banker. The PowerPoint document is stunning, with charts and visuals comparable to Al Gore’s award-winning presentation on climate change. And the Word memo summarizing it all features prose that is so lucid that somewhere Malcolm Gladwell is shedding a tear. The plan looks airtight on paper, but in reality, it is incredibly brittle. As Intuit’s Scott Cook once quipped, ‘For every one of our failures, we had spreadsheets that looked awesome.’

Quote for the day:

"Chance has never yet satisfied the hope of a suffering people." -- Marcus Garvey

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