March 19, 2015

How CIOs Become Hybrid Cloud Heroes
It is nearly impossible for the CIO to know exactly what the company will need six, 12 or 18 months from now, but budgets need to be set anyway. Beyond mission-critical operations that are easier to predict, things can change quickly and without much notice. This forces the CIO to keep a safety buffer within his budget to take care of those surprises. In growth years, it is wise to use an even higher buffer, as the company is likely to experience a lot of unpredictability. However, at times when budgets shrink and only must-have projects get funded, projects that cannot be easily explained get left out of the budget, which can stall innovation and growth.

Cyberlegs project wants to equip amputees with robotic limbs
Cyberlegs is a joint project by a number of European institutions: the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna di Pisa, Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi Onlus in Florence, as well the Catholic University of Louvain and the Free University of Brussels in Belgium. Researchers from these schools have been working on the project since 2012 using $2.7 million in funds from the European Commission, but the Italian scientists have only just presented their work to the public this Monday. Thus far, the system has already been tested by 11 people. But when the team got together recently to assess their work, they've determined that they still need to reduce the prosthetic's weight and size for comfort.

Multi-cloud doesn't have to mean cloud chaos
The first step could be to adopt an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud model. By leaving your provider with the more routine tasks, such as hardware, data and server management, businesses can become empowered to focus on innovating and add value to the organisation. What’s more, the benefits of IaaS – including improved security and efficiency, reduced costs, and optimised insights – closely align with IT departments’ modern IT objectives. Although most businesses have a clear understanding of IaaS’ advantages, research revealed that over half are yet to implement it due to concerns around relinquishing control of IT environments.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Your Vulnerability Management Program
Over the years there has been lots of discussion and points of view surrounding security metrics and how to measure the effectiveness of a vulnerability management program. In fact, the Center for Security has even laid out a framework for security metrics developed by an expert panel in an effort to help organizations determine and validate security strategies. In 2004 Qualys first began anonymously using the accumulated vulnerability scan data received from its customers to identify key, quantifiable attributes or metrics to help companies drive strategies for protecting networks, systems and data. These metrics have become known as the “Laws of Vulnerabilities” and are comprised of the following four key measures:

10 portable keyboards for iPhone, iPad, and Android
Unlike some of us, you probably don't set out with your iPhone or Android phone as your only computer. You've got a laptop and perhaps a tablet for getting work done. Even so, sometimes the phone is all you've got with you when the need to write a detailed email or work on a document. That can be a challenge tapping on the little keyboard on the screen. There are quite a few portable keyboards available that can step in when you need to do a lot of writing. Free time with the iPhone or Android phone can turn into unexpected productive time with the right accessory.

CIOs Share Lessons Learned From the Journey to the Cloud
"Ten percent to 20 percent of my staff are not embracing the cloud concept because they feel it's going to put them out of a job," he says. "I wish they would embrace the cloud more. You've got to align your staff with your strategic goals. All our new hires are being hired with that in mind. I don't need anyone to manage physical assets anymore." Patti notes that AccuWeather now tries to do as many educational internal sessions as it can to show his IT staff what the company has done cloud-wise. In fact, Patti now considers cloud the default option for any project. His people need a solid justification for doing something on-premise. "I challenge them to pick something they're doing now and figure out how to do it with the cloud," he says.

Wearables And Other Gadgets Aim To Finally Kill Off The Password
The fingerprint-sensing technology inside the iPhone and the latest Samsung handsets is a marked improvement over a PIN code or a password. They are, however, not perfect: With enough time and effort, fingerprints can be spoofed or fooled. (We leave them everywhere we go, after all.) They're also impossible to change once an account has been compromised.  In its current state, such technology works best as a second layer of protection alongside other security measures. To spoof a fingerprint on an iPhone 6 "requires skill, patience, and a really good copy of someone's fingerprint," but it can be done, writes Marc Rogers from the Lookout security firm.

Methods for De-identification of Protected Health Information
The Privacy Rule was designed to protect individually identifiable health information through permitting only certain uses and disclosures of PHI provided by the Rule, or as authorized by the individual subject of the information. However, in recognition of the potential utility of health information even when it is not individually identifiable, §164.502(d) of the Privacy Rule permits a covered entity or its business associate to create information that is not individually identifiable by following the de-identification standard and implementation specifications in §164.514(a)-(b). These provisions allow the entity to use and disclose information that neither identifies nor provides a reasonable basis to identify an individual

Health records are the new credit cards
“Cyber criminals are now going after health care records because they hold up to ten times more value on the black market over simple credit card numbers," said Carl Wright, general manager at San Mateo, Calif.-based TrapX. Electronic health record information can be used for billing scams that go as high as the value of the health insurance policy, to purchase prescription drugs for resale on the black market, and also for run-of-the-mill identity theft. In addition, recent changes in the health industry mean that many formerly offline, disparate health data sources are now being brought together, said Ivan Shefrin, vice president of security solutions at Cupertino, Calif.-based TaaSera, Inc. "And attackers are carefully studying and exploiting weak spots in new, vast connectivity," he added.

Interview: Building the 'world's greenest datacentre' in Falun, Sweden
Behind the venture is energy utility Falu Energi & Vatten in collaboration with datacentre entrepreneurs EcoDC. “Other players are also starting to look at re-using the energy in district heating systems, but we are the first to utilise it all the way in EcoDataCenter. Apple says they will do it in Denmark in the future, while customers are moving in to our datacentre at the beginning of 2016,” says Jan Fahlén, business developer for datacentres at Falu Energi & Vatten. “This might seem like an obvious thing to do, but the reason others aren’t doing it is that it requires a very strong collaboration with the local energy company,” says Fahlén.

Quote for the day:

"A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is - it is what consumers tell each other it is." -- Scott Cook

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