May 24, 2016

What Are Hackers Up To These Days

"That large jump shows you that organizations are starting to do things correctly. They're not just earmarking security as [a secondary concern delegated to] their IT departments. They're actually paying attention, and paying attention in a really important fashion," says Sigler. Still, 41 percent is not a majority, and Sigler says he hopes to see a majority of organizations detecting breaches on their own in the future, because the sooner a company detects a compromise, the sooner it can "contain the damage." Ultimately, sticking to the security basics will go a long way toward keeping your systems safe, Sigler says. Even though attackers are savvy and getting savvier, if you set up firewalls and make sure you’re properly logging and monitoring your systems, your organization will rise above the "low-hanging fruits and easy targets criminals tend to target," he says. "It's not sexy, but a lot of organizations aren't even doing that much."

Cyber security is the biggest risk to the global financial system

"What we found, as a general matter so far, is a lot of preparedness, a lot of awareness but also their policies and procedures are not tailored to their particular risks," she said. "As we go out there now, we are pointing that out." White said SEC examiners were very pro-active about doing sweeps of broker-dealers and investment advisers to assess their defenses against a cyber attack. "We can't do enough in this sector," she said. Cyber security experts said her remarks represented the SEC’s strongest warning to date of the threat posed by hackers. A former member of the World Bank’s security team, Tom Kellermann, who is now chief executive of the investment firm Strategic Cyber Ventures LLC, called it "a historic recognition of the systemic risk facing Wall Street."

The inside story of how the Jeopardy-winning supercomputer was born

"There were fundamental areas of innovation that had to be done to go beyond Jeopardy - there was a tremendous amount of pre-processing, post-processing and tooling that we have added around the core engines," added Saxena. "It's the equivalent of getting a Ferrari engine then trying to build a whole race car around it. What we inherited was the core engine, and we said 'Okay, let's build a new thing that does all sort of things the original Jeopardy system wasn't required to do'." To get Watson from Jeopardy to oncology, there were three processes that the Watson team went through: content adaptation, training adaptation, and functional adaptation - or, to put it another way, feeding it medical information and having it weighted appropriately; testing it out with some practice questions; then making any technical adjustments needed - tweaking taxonomies, for example.

Skills Gap Also Includes ‘Failure to Communicate’

The survey also found that technical proficiency in specific software programs like Hadoop is less of a problem than basic skills like writing, public speaking and problem-solving skills. “Effective writing, speaking and critical thinking enables you to accomplish business goals and get ahead,” added Dan Schawbel, research director at Future Workplace. “No working day will be complete without writing an email or tackling a new challenge, so the sooner you develop these skills, the more employable you will become.” Once those skills are developed, the fastest way to a promotion and pay raise are programming skills such as Scala and enterprise communications tools related to Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) platforms. Those were followed by Hadoop fluency, familiarity with cloud computing and software development kits for Android and iOS devices.

JPMorgan Chase: CEO Dimon Advocates Expansion into Fintech

Banks are pursuing digital banking while reducing their brick-and-mortar branch network, largely to restructure their business and compete with financial innovation start-ups— or simply, fintechs. Most recently, HSBC Holdings PLC announced reduction of its branch network in India by almost half. The bank emphasized on “the right mix of digital versus physical branch distribution.” ... The significant decline reflects a shift in customer preference to digital banking. Brett King, founder of the mobile finance app Moven, said that “if you think about the viability of the branch, the question has to be: are customers visiting? We have a rapid decline in visits.” Meanwhile, certain banks are confident that branches, despite the declining transactions, are an essential part of modern economies. Paul Donofrio, Bank of America chief financial officer, asserted that “it’s more about they’re (customers) coming there because of some life event…not for everyday transaction banking.”

Put people at the heart of your SOA governance model

SOA governance practices tend to focus on maximizing the efficiency of development and deployment, so all the pieces of your infrastructure work reliably and effectively together. As such, it's steeped in services catalogs, standard policies, testing processes and improvement mechanisms. Without these things, developers run the risk of idiosyncratic code, duplicate functionalities or conflicts with other apps. And there's no question this would be absolute death in a present-day environment when there are so many computing platforms, each of which often must call the same sets of information and participate in the same business processes. ... But if the people relying on your technology don't know how -- or aren't encouraged -- to properly handle the information on which they rely and on which the SOA system operates, then you have nothing.

What Does Your Company Culture Code Reveal?

Defining a culture in business is very challenging. Cracking the culture code and living it out is downright impossible unless leaders and employees are constantly embracing it and modeling it day in and day out. In my opinion, it starts at the top. However, a key ingredient is in the searching for and onboarding of new employees. If this process is not done strategically with the explanation of the company culture code at the top of the list, your desired culture will dissolve in a matter of months. This can occur, especially if new employees are coming on board all the time, and at all levels of the company. Here is a list of a few attributes I have experienced that are commonly used in creating successful corporate cultures. Does your company embody any of these? Hmm... maybe it should.

DevOps Lessons Learned at Microsoft Engineering

Software engineer accountabilities transitioned to not only building and testing but ultimately to the health of production. This accountability shift has two aspects. First, we want the feature teams obsessed with understanding our customers to get a unique insight into the problems they face, and how they can be raving fans of the experiences those teams are building. Second, we need the feature teams and individual engineers to own what they are delivering into production. The feature teams have the power, control and authority over all of the parts of the software process.  Service engineers have to know the application architecture to be more efficient troubleshooters, suggest architectural changes to the infrastructure, be able to develop and test things like infrastructure as code and automation scripts, and make high-value contributions that impact the service design or management.

How IoT Will Change The Job Market

"The IoT has the potential to change the human experience the same way the assembly line and the Industrial revolution did. It changes the human-machine relationship in similar ways; machines will soon be able to do repetitive tasks driven by their past experiences," he says. That means more time and energy for solving problems by creating technology that can address pollution, save energy, using biotechnology to create new ways to grow crops or generate electrical power through the use of technology, he says. If you can use IoT in a data center, for instance, to figure out optimal cooling levels and regulate power consumption, you can help companies save energy without having as many personnel involved. IoT can help reduce the amount of repetitive work, and that will free up people to do more learning, exploring and creating new ideas, new knowledge.

SWIFT asks customers to help it end a string of bank frauds

Knowledge base entries show that SWIFT has updated its Alliance Access software several times in recent months. One of the tips warns that, while keeping the software up to date is important, it is not sufficient in itself. "While the software update provides additional integrity verification and alerting capabilities for this particular modus operandi on your interface to the SWIFT network, it will not help you protect against all malwares or your internal credentials being compromised," SWIFT wrote in another recent letter to customers, entitled "Security Issues." SWIFT also offers more general security guidance to its customers and says it intends to update this shortly, reinforcing its recommendations for securing access to the network. The current security guidance is sorely in need of an update, according to Doug Gourlay, corporate vice president of security software vendor Skyport Systems.

Quote for the day:

"Life is bristling with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to cultivate one's garden." -- Voltaire,

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