April 06, 2016

How secure is your boardroom data?

So cyber security is not just a concern for the CIO and their team – it’s something that everyone at board level needs to be aware of. In its 2015 whitepaper, ‘10 Steps: A Board Level Responsibility’, the UK government warned that security was now a board level responsibility, and offered help for senior executives on how to keep sensitive data safe. This has to include both an increased level of awareness around cyber security – knowing the company’s cyber security policies, ensuring they are functioning and are being enforced as intended, and having an awareness of the type of risks that the company may face.This requires a link from IT to the board to make sure these knowledge gaps are filled, and that board members are kept up to date with latest threats. Perhaps there is a role for a sub-committee that focuses only on the analysis of cyber threats and reports back to the board.

Build Your Own Offshore Development Team - or Not?

There is an historical “garbage in, garbage out” approach to leveraging overseas dev/test talent and cost savings. We throw something to essentially a coding factory on another continent and wonder why it doesn’t come back looking like it was tailor-made. Or we think we’ve secured the services of a hotshot overseas coder and wonder why he leaves us for Microsoft and a work visa six months later. I’ve been on both sides of the outsourced development puzzle—client side and vendor side. Some may be in the unique position to create their own offshore center due to business connections, existing infrastructure, unique cultural background, or a combination of all three. But this is not typical or practical for most of us and here’s why:

How to do data-driven marketing right

Enterprises today accumulate a lot of data, which they typically use internally for CRM, sales forecasting, and marketing strategies, among other things. But some savvy companies, particularly those in the technology industry, share this data with the media and the world at large. The benefits of data-driven content marketing can be considerable. Here's how some companies leverage their own data for marketing, brand awareness, and thought leadership, along with tips and best practices for success.

How to Prepare for a DDoS Attack

Visibility is critical when preparing for issues in your network. SNMP graphing platforms will tell you an extraordinary amount of information on volumetric attacks. You’ll be able to see and (depending on the platform) sometimes even alert on anomalous bandwidth events. You’ll be able to track at which port it entered your network, if it’s saturating any links, and even where the attack is headed. It’s surprising how many companies I’ve worked with over the years that do not deploy this because it’s such an easy and basic thing to implement. Primarily, you need devices that can speak SNMP, such as managed switches, routers, etc., and then you need a platform to query them.

Study: Interest in location intelligence technology nascent but rising

Interest in location intelligence is dependent on the industry. “If you’re doing things like sales operational planning, you have to use location intelligence to do that. Otherwise, you’re not going to understand how to allocate resources appropriately,” he said. Indeed, when broken down by industry, the survey reveals that retail has the highest interest in location intelligence with 65% of those representing the industry indicating that location intelligence is either critically important or very important to their company. Only 40% of survey takers from health care and 35% of survey takers from education said the same. Yet Dresner predicts location intelligence will rise in importance across all industries eventually. One driver is Internet of Things (IoT), he said, pointing to the growing network of Wi-Fi enabled physical objects such as Fitbits and connected vehicles.

Next-Generation Databases Shift IT Priorities

IT professionals do not want their next-generation database solution to require a "media-heavy server architecture," Thakur pointed out. "They want native formats on secure storage." They want a scalable system that can handle ever-increasing data loads, Thakur added. They want resiliency. "Given this highly distributed world, a node could go up or down fairly quickly. Customers want backup infrastructure that is highly available," Thakur said, which is preferable to doing the backup all over again should a node ever quit. But there is a trade-off. IT professionals can either have eventual data consistency on the next-generation platform, or strong consistency, which is the hallmark of the relational database, Thakur explained. "If you want scalability, you have to give up something," he said. IT professionals will give up strong consistency to gain the benefits of scalability that big data has to offer, he added.

Technology, IoT monetization to usher in 'programmable economy'

Over the next few years, Furlonger predicted, there will be a transition to an economic model that will better support organizations' move to digital business. IoT will play a key role in this transition. "The Things will start to act as proxies for us. You see that with things like virtual personal assistants, virtual customer assistants, different algorithms for robots … making decisions on our behalf in the transactional supply chain. That's just the beginning," he said. Furlonger said robotic services -- including those attached to IoT -- will become increasingly autonomous. "There's no reason -- because everything is connected to the Internet -- why they can't access your bank account, why they can't pay tax, why they can't transfer money. It's just another Internet-based connection, and then they become part and parcel of this new economic environment," he said.

The 'IoT' Is Changing the Way We Look at the Global Product Value Chain

The traditional product value chain has been shaken up with the unstoppable spread of globalization and the universal commodification of goods and services. Globalization has forced companies to adjust and respond. In fact, Internet of Things (IoT) products are playing a pivotal role in the alteration of B2C relationships, delivery channels and product pricing, and their continued proliferation is shaping the very nature of how we look at the product value chain. The "Internet of things" refers to objects that can communicate among one other through a network. IoT is becoming prolific and commonplace in everyday objects. And, with experts predicting that the IoT network will consist of some 50 billion devices by 2020, those devices will only become more and more ubiquitous. The IoT revolution is truly just beginning, and it will most certainly will be televised!

Test Management Revisited

While test management is largely irrelevant in this world, there is still a desperate need for test leadership. Why is this? The main reason is that as organisations struggle to become more innovative to respond quickly to market changes, engineering has responded by turning to continuous deployment and cross-functional teams to help meet demand. How testing fits into this picture is proving to be an Achilles heel for many organisations, which struggle to solve the challenge of how to making testing relevant and faster, yet uphold the quality they need to develop trust with their customer base. The truth is, agile or not, most organisations adopt a testing approach constructed not long after the computer came into being—despite the enormous technological advances made in the last 70 years.

Why Banks Should Go Easy On The Blockchain

The banks are certainly getting schooled on the technology, with most of the world’s top FIs participating in some type of blockchain development scheme, if not investing on their own internal programs to explore the tool. FinTech innovators were the first to forge a path that could bring blockchain into the real world, but it wasn’t until financial institutions began investing and taking interest in the sector that it began to be taken seriously. It may not seem fair, but Lawlor said it was necessary. “Any time we’re dealing with people’s money, there’s a need for the legitimacy of a financial institution that’s been around for potentially hundreds of years,” he noted. “They also have the regulatory and compliance structures already in place.”

Quote for the day:

"Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong." -- Calvin Coolidge

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