February 02, 2016

How to prepare for the IT department of the future

"IT needs to do some marketing and consider users as they do consumers. Is IT delivering only 80 percent of a service without following through? Are they rude? Inefficient? You're providing IT services to your users, and so 'brand' is so important. If your users aren't seeing the value in your services, then the company as a whole isn't going to think that IT has any value," says Simon Chapleau, CEO of Green Elephant. To change that, IT will have to focus on measurement and accountability, Chapleau says. By measuring user satisfaction with IT, and allowing users to grade the services they're receiving, IT can focus on what needs improvement and, in the process, get more done.

Job One for the CDO: Lay Foundation for Data Management

Often working through a matrixed organization, CDOs can help overwhelmed IT teams put the right strategic focus on analytics. If they succeed, business managers at all levels can use higher volumes and varieties of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data to make better decisions about customers, competitors and operations. But how specifically does a CDO accomplish this? The answer varies widely based on the circumstances and maturity of the enterprise. Rarely does a CDO inherit a pretty situation. In their report, “Top Performers Appoint Chief Data Officers”, Forrester analysts Gene Leganza and Jennifer Belissent point out that negative events such as security breaches or disappointing results often prompt the appointment of a CDO to improve data governance or assess new market or customer dynamics. 

Network-attached storage: The smart person's guide

NAS products, as with SANs, are starting to evolve beyond just large boxes filled with hard drives. Most major NAS suppliers now offer all-flash and hybrid disk/flash products. Other modern twists on NAS include products that automatically replicate their data into cloud storage and, as discussed above, versions with advanced clustering that are essentially SANs behind a NAS head unit. Whether these are the "best of both worlds" remains to be seen. Another trend is software-defined NAS, which allows businesses to build their own systems using commodity hardware. There's some irony to this, as business-class storage companies spent years explaining how their proprietary NAS systems were much better than homegrown file servers using independent NAS software.

Are Retailers Improving Cybersecurity?

"We have been in business or incorporation for almost two years now," Engle says of the R-CISC. "We have seen significant growth. ... We're seeing that the retailers are really getting a clearer picture of risk to their organization, and it's not just in the payment transaction." The R-CISC now has more than 100 merchants as members, he points out. What's more, R-CISC's close relationship with Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center is aimed at ensuring that those member merchants are able to collaborate and share threat intelligence directly with the banking community, Engle explains. "We work extremely closely with the FS-ISAC," he says. "We have chosen to utilize the same technology and information sharing platform ... and our ISAC function is actually located in the same building as the FS-ISAC."

Tablet shipments down, but detachables catch on

Detachables are growing fast because end users see them as laptop replacements, IDC analyst Jean Philippe Bouchard said in a statement. He said Apple sold more than 2 million iPad Pros, while Microsoft sold about 1.6 million Surface devices, of which most were the Surface Pro and not the more affordable Surface 3. "It's clear that price is not the most important feature considered, when buying a detachable — performance is," Bouchard said. After Apple, Samsung and Amazon in the top three positions for the fourth quarter in tablet shipments, Lenovo finished fourth and Huawei was fifth. There were 66 million tablets of all types shipped in the quarter, down nearly 14% from the fourth quarter of 2014.

A Short Manual to Bring Change Successfully into Your Team

This is the first question every leader should ask himself before starting this big adventure, because it often turns out to be a rocky and lonely road. Have a look at the WoMan in the mirror and ask yourself before initiating a process of personal changes in your team: are YOU ready for modifications in your own behavior and attitude? If the answer to this question is a clear YES, without any hesitation, then go on and step into this surprising road of change and discover what will happen to you and all the people around you! But if you need to think a little bit longer about the YES or if “Yes?” sounds like a question, you should review your reasoning, double-check your intentions and convince yourself.

Asean organizations braced for cyber attack

“You only need to watch the news or surf the Internet to see what the modern-day hacker is now capable of. Implementing proper security measures is no longer an option, it is a must,” said Somchai Intiraworanont, president of XanSiam International. To ensure that the company plugs all potential security holes, it hired security provider Network Box to upgrade its firewall service to a unified threat management service package. “DDOS attacks were a problem before we deployed Network Box in the data center,” Intiraworanont said. “Today, we have been noticing a lot of zero-day malware getting stopped in its tracks. There have also been a number of intrusion attempts blocked.”

Phishing Attacks Among Greatest Plague Facing Healthcare

Phishing is not just aimed at the largest healthcare organizations; a recent survey by the Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society found that 69 percent of respondents have experienced a phishing attack. Security incidents involving those from outside the organization (phishing and other types of attacks) caused significant problems for some of the organizations responding to the HIMSS survey. Of all respondents affected by a breach, 21 percent reported the loss of data, and a total of 16 percent reported either significant disruption or actual damage to their IT systems. Attacks at Anthem and Primera were frighteningly easy, according to the annual report on healthcare security breaches, by Bitglass, a security solutions vendor.

Defending a network from the NSA

Whitelisting is the opposite of anti-virus software. That is, rather than allowing all software to execute by default and trying to block bad stuff, white listing defaults to blocking everything and only lets known good applications run. Perhaps realizing that many in the audience felt that whitelisting was impractical, Joyce hinted at using it on servers. As a rule, servers run less software than the computers used by employees, and the software is updated less frequently, making it easier to maintain the whitelist. Another area where he suggested whitelisting was outgoing traffic. Companies often allow all outgoing requests by default and then try to block known bad domains. I got he feeling the considered this a fools errand.

The need for cyber security skills in Australia balloons

It’s not just end-user enterprises looking for security skills, either. The federal government is ramping up its cyber know-how with agencies such as the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and ASIS hiring, according to Acheson, and the vendor community is looking for skills too. Like corporate Australia generally, vendors are looking for a blend of abilities. Sam Ghebranious, regional director for CyberArk in ANZ, said that while technical capability is important, so are the soft, communications skills and the ability to articulate the security challenge that enterprises face. “You need to be able to relate to change management and understand the security policies of the organisation,” he said, adding that 80% of the success of a security solution came from getting users to change behaviour and use the solution.

Quote for the day:

"The majority of our problems are of our own making." -- Gordon Tredgold

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