February 10, 2015

A glimpse into the future of money
Mobile may offer ways to improve customer service at the front end, but banks are also overhauling their back-end systems too. "The most visible results of banking's digital revolution are mobile apps and systems for managing customer relationships over social networks, as well as new ways of providing a digital signature [such as Touch ID]. But there still needs to be a major effort before we'll see the most transformative part of the revolution, which has to allow banks to become what new digital customers expect us to be," Banc de Sabadell's CTO Carlos Abarca says.

Why Cisco is Warming to Non-ACI Data Center SDN
“This is an interesting move by Cisco in that [the open protocol-based overlay technology] is a difference from their ACI stack,” Mike Marcellin, senior vice president of strategy and marketing at Cisco rival Juniper Networks, said. “Cisco is acknowledging that ACI is not for everybody, and [that] they need to think a little more broadly.” ... EVPN is a protocol generally used to connect multiple data centers over Wide Area Networks. It enables a service provider to create multiple virtual connections between sites for a number of customers over a single physical network while keeping each customer’s traffic private.

BIG Data, Medical Imaging and Machine Intelligence
More and more users, and more and more machines generate more unstructured data on a daily basis. Capturing the essence of such massive flow of data is beyond traditional computation facilities and their classical methodologies. Large data centres and intelligent algorithms, embedded within capable and flexible distributed computing environments such as Hadoop, are necessary to make sense of big data. One of the major fields “suffering” from big data, which has been widely neglected so far, is medical imaging. More than approximately two trillion medical images are captured worldwide each year. A large number of these images have to be stored for several years. There is a huge amount of information contained in these images and their annotations.

Xamarin's Jonathan Pryor on Android 5 Lollipop
Lollipop seems to incorporate a lot of features first developed by Motorola such as "Tap and Go" which came from Motorola Connect, "Ambient Display" which came from Motorola's most popular feature on the Moto X, "Active Display" and another cool security feature Motorola provided for their devices is now present, providing for "trusted" device connections. This allows you to associate your phone with another "trusted" device either through Bluetooth or NFC, so that you can unlock your device and actually set it to "not lock" when around this "trusted" device.

The Type of Data Scientists We Need
Data Scientists can get an understanding of the business need and then work to understand the data with the proper algorithms, and tools to provide what is needed by the business user to get value from Big Data.  So a Data Scientist needs not only to have a strong analytical, statistical mathematical background, but they also need to have and gain specific industry understanding and expertise. They need not only to understand the mechanics, they need to work with industry experts and understand what the users do and need in order to deliver it. Building that industry relationship and expertise is key.

There’s No Such Thing as Anonymous Data
In a paper published in Science last week, MIT scientist Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye shows that anonymous credit card data can be reverse engineered to identify individuals’ transactions, a finding which calls into question many of the policies developed to protect consumers and forces data scientists to reconsider the policies and ethics that guide how they use large datasets. ... To be clear: Reidentification means that the researchers could identify all the transactions that belong to an individual, but de Montjoye didn’t attempt to say which individual. For example, if he wanted to know my transactions, he’d need to take additional steps to cross reference something he knew about me to his data. If, for example,

Containers Get Ready To Run Critical Production Apps
Docker containers are a natural formatting and organizing agent for some existing applications and many future ones. The more we decompose enterprise applications into smaller and smaller pieces, or micro-services, the more useful they become. Think of each service in a big, monolithic application separated and running in its own container. Before such an approach takes hold, IT has many management issues to work out. How will one service be linked to another? How will they be monitored and tracked after launch? Who's driving the use of containers? Right now, it is primarily developers and testing teams, which both like the fast and lightweight code deployments that containers allow.

How attackers' sights have switched to the tech-savvy
Along with data scientists - and security researchers themselves - systems admins are increasingly a target because of the way their privileged access combines with a need to try out new tools. "Systems administrators, who often experiment with new types of software, are partially predictable. You can guess what sorts of media they consume and the websites they go to and the types of software they download. Targeting them is something you're going to see a lot more of," Palmer said. As well as specifically targeting such individuals, attackers are also employing malvertising, where legitimate online advertising networks and webpages are poisoned with malware-bearing adverts.

Unlikely partners? The CCO and the CTO
The IT head should be a cybersecurity-minded CCO’s best friend. Don’t know them yet? Remedy that today. You should be in constant conversation with your IT head, so that you can continually refine your organization’s cybersecurity mechanisms and communicate regularly with your employees around critical risks. You might collaboratively develop password management policies, choose firewall and encryption settings, and review vulnerability scans. You might also leverage the IT head’s technical knowledge to learn about the types of cyber events that threaten your organization. The 2014 iteration of Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations

Protect yourself from hackers and the NSA
One unfortunate fact makes email and other messaging apps especially vulnerable to snoops -- you can't control it because it also resides elsewhere. People focus on Sony employees whose emails were compromised. But what about the people outside Sony they corresponded with? Their communication with Sony employees got compromised, too. The truth is that even if you have an aggressive purge policy that calls for deleting email after a certain amount of time, there will probably still be copies of the deleted messages with people outside the company.

Quote for the day:

"I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones." -- John Cage

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