December 25, 2014

Top Security Highlights from 2014
2014 has been a busy and exciting year for security at Cisco! The team has worked extremely hard to provide our customers with unmatched visibility, continuous control and advanced threat protection across the entire attack continuum. Among many things, Cisco launched the first threat-focused Next Generation Firewall: Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services. This solution delivers integrated threat defense across the entire attack continuum by combining proven ASA firewall with Sourcefire threat and advanced malware protection (AMP) in a single device. We also announced the integration of AMP into our Cisco Web and Email Security Appliances and Cloud Services, known as AMP Everywhere.

E-readers, tablets can disrupt sleep
“We knew from other published reports that light can affect sleep, so we wanted to know what kind of impact light from these electronic devices specifically would have,” Chang said.Compared to those evenings when they read books, participants who used the electronic devices prior to bedtime took almost 10 minutes longer to fall asleep, the study found. They also weren’t as drowsy in the evening, and were sleepier in the morning. By reading on electronic devices before regular sleep time, the participants shifted their bodies’ typical circadian rhythms, the researchers posited. Circadian rhythms are the biological clocks that signal to humans, and other organisms, when to fall asleep.

Ready to embrace Everything-as-a-Service? Prepare to assume more risk
It’s usually about risk — specifically, risk being transferred to the buyer. Like it or not, business and commercial terms for most “as-a-service” offerings today heavily favor the provider. This is a shock for enterprise buyers who are used to dictating everything to providers on their own contract documents — everything from limits of liability to annual security audits. With as-a-service offerings, the tables have turned. The provider transfers risk to the buyer. This is a relatively new phenomenon, and it’s because of one primary reason: multi-tenancy. The broad-based acceptance of highly standardized, massively scaled shared architectures is transforming the enterprise technology landscape, especially in the areas of sourcing and contracting.

A Testable Idea Is Better than a Good Idea
There was no ‘”aha!” moment. But there was a slow recognition that defining a testable hypothesis requires more rigor than coming up with good ideas to improve products, services and or user experiences. What’s more, a testable hypothesis comes with accountability built in: the hypothesis needs to be tested. It will pass or fail that test. Ideally, you’ll learn either way. But what’s the accountability for a good idea? The fact that a lot of people think it’s a good idea? That’s a popularity contest. The harsh reality is that good ideas have to be tested. Why not insist that people undergo the rigor and discipline of crafting a testable hypothesis? That’s how good ideas get converted into real value.

2014 in Mobile: The Year of Wearable Gadgets
Though smart watches in particular often cram a ton of features into a small package, this year some wearable makers eschewed feature creep for simplicity in an effort to woo consumers. French company Netatmo unveiled June, a jewel-like device on a leather bracelet: it keeps track of the wearer’s sun exposure and works with an iPhone app to tell you when to grab a hat or seek shade. The Hong Kong company ConnecteDevice launched a simple smart watch called Cogito that has a traditional-looking analog face but also shows some notifications. There was also a greater focus on precise biometric tracking this year. In November, startup Empatica announced a wristband called Embrace, meant for people with epilepsy.

Speech Recognition Technology Better Than Human's Exists
Recent inventions in the field of speech and machine learning should lead to major changes in how we murmur, shout, question and interrogate our devices. One of the brains behind Siri says engineers are feverishly working toward speech recognition that's smart enough to engage in authentic conversations with users. "All areas of spoken language understanding have made a lot of progress," says William Mark, a vice president at SRI International, which developed the fundamental technology behind Siri before it was acquired by Apple. "This kind of conversational interaction is where the leading edge is right now."

Composition for Partial Aggregate Domain Model
The problem still arises for enterprise applications. Imagine the company works with Domain Driven Design (DDD), where the domain are business objects they loaded in their bounded context. Due to performance reason, sometimes we want to load the full bounded context, sometimes only a part of it, some classes but not the others. One solution would be splitting the bounded context into smaller bounded contexts but it’s not always possible because we don't work anymore with a logical business set of data, so we’ll need then to join data.

Cyberwarfare: Digital weapons causing physical damage
While the attack on Sony is considered “unprecedented,” it was not the worst corporate hack in 2014. More records were stolen from JPMorgan, Home Depot and even eBay. But details of two of the scariest cyberattacks just hit the news in December...and one of those -- about Turkish pipeline explosion -- has been a secret since 2008. The other involves a digital attack on a German steel factory that resulted in 'massive damage.'

Sony hack timeline: How a silly comedy sparked real cyber-terror
The fallout has forced the studio to cancel the release of The Interview after major theatre chains decided not to premiere the movie. The comedy, which sees the two protagonists (Seth Rogen and James Franco) sent on a mission to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has sparked an international crisis, with hackers threatening moviegoers with a 9/11-style attack. The events mark one of the most poignant corporate breaches of security in history. MicroScope examines the events leading up to the current situation.

Lean Project Management Using “Oobeya"
Oobeya is a learning method: teams learn to evaluate the voice of customers, see problems as soon as they arise, resolve problems quickly and efficiently in order to protect customers, create and use standards that improve quality and remove variability in their process, and collaborate with the whole organization. All of this contributes to developing knowledge about our own work. Smarter, more motivated professionals make better products faster. If the team is already agile, Oobeya can increase the team’s velocity and give them the tools they need to match their pace to that of the customer.

Quote for the day:

“A good person will resist an evil system with his whole soul. Disobedience of the laws of an evil state is therefore a duty.” -- Gandhi

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