May 25, 2016

How Colocation and the Cloud Killed the Data Center

It’s clear that the cloud should be part of your IT strategy, even if your team has yet to determine how to leverage it. Many CIOs are stuck, having moved some workloads to the cloud but facing obstacles as they attempt to migrate the rest of their business. According to Gartner, security and IT complexity are the top reasons cloud strategies grind to a halt. For these teams, it’s important to remain educated about their companies’ individual needs, and seek services that can help meet them. In any case, when you’re dealing with the cloud, you’re dealing with remote IT resources. These require private networks with high levels of bandwidth and resiliency, and support from a robust data center provider.

Insurers might be reluctant to populate cyber incident database, says expert

"But cyber is the biggest insurable risk that the industry will have to meet, and it is critical to the economy. We’d like to see a not for profit, anonymised database covering things like business interruption costs, ransom demands, privacy breach claims and damage to IT systems." "If it is not a requirement to report these losses, then insurers are not going to have the data they need to provide the right cover. It would have to be mandated by parliament, but it would need to be proportionate and manageable," he said. Birdsey said that the UK's cyber insurance market is still "in its infancy" and that there is "limited cyber data available to insurers". However, he warned that insurers and businesses that buy cyber insurance might be wary of the de-anonymisation of data about cyber incidents input into a new database.

4 Questions that every Enterprise has before Migrating onto Cloud

Cloud migration should follow a well-defined strategy that weighs out the pros and cons of moving to the cloud. The major roadblocks could emanate from basic assumptions that lead to damage if not evaluated prior to the actual migration. Security gaps, interoperability issues, incompatibility of systems, rework of existing software applications can throw up unpleasant surprises. Before a business decides to move one or more processes to the cloud, it needs to understand that all applications may not benefit from the migration. Hence they need to ask the following questions to decide when to migrate, what to migrate and how to migrate, to unleash the power of cloud for their organization.

DevOps model, a profile in CIO leadership, change management

IT leaders must be able to articulate why and how a DevOps model of working will bring improvements, and they must be able to sell their vision to colleagues and staff alike. CIOs also need to shepherd their teams through the changes -- keeping workers on track and moving forward even though some will resist (as is typical anytime people are asked to do their jobs differently). CIOs will likely need to juggle staff, too, hiring new talent, retraining others and developing new skills in some so that those employees who once worked in isolated buckets can actually understand each other's work and how each role contributes to the final product. ... Berkholz said IT executives looking to bring DevOps into their environment need to focus on three pillars: culture, automation and measurement. But he also acknowledged that moving the dial in each of those areas is a challenge in and of itself.

More CIOs report to the CEO, underscoring IT’s rising importance

Snyder says the CIOs' rise to direct report and partner to the CEO means that talk of turf wars among CMOs, and more recently with CDOs, is fading. For example, while the number of CDOs spiked to 17 percent in 2015 from 7 percent in 2014 in their previous surveys, Harvey Nash and KPMG found that the number onlyrose only 2 percent to 19 percent for 2016. This suggests the CDO hype has peaked and that CIOs remain the most integral C-suite leader to shepherd the current transformation wave. Moreover, Snyder says that evidence that CMOs will control the bulk of technology spending is not materializing. While marketing may be spending more money on technology than it has in the past, it still requires CIOs to connect systems of engagement to back-end systems, including connecting newer cloud software to legacy systems.

A 2020 roadmap for corporate sustainability

"Look at your business, look at your household and think about why an electric vehicle makes sense," Britta Gross, director of advanced vehicle commercialization policy at General Motors, told more than 550 attendees on the first day of the conference. "There’s no good reason why there isn’t a plug-in vehicle in every driveway in this country right now." Our updated Ceres Roadmap expectations call on companies to prioritize electric vehicles in their logistics and fleets, and to provide employees with the infrastructure needed to charge their vehicles at work. I also heard about food companies upping their ambitions on climate and water issues, including General Mills, which is devoting far more attention these days to reducing water and carbon footprints in its vast supply chains compared to five years ago.

IoT increases cyber and legal risk, say experts

“The ability of IoT devices to sense, connect and react, their inability to carry complex circuitry or be upgraded, and their ability to create a physical attack vector such as disable the brakes on a vehicle also mean that we have to change the way we think about internet or cyber security,” said Kawalec. “Developers of IoT devices and systems need to consider everything from actuating physical attack, to connectivity and the importance of data, and the systems to support these devices going forward. When you embed them in concrete and build them into homes and hospitals, you need to think completely differently than you would about a Wi-Fi printer.” From a legal perspective, the dawn of the IoT era also means a potential increase in liability, especially in the light of new and planned data protection, privacy and information security regulations emerging in Europe and internationally, said Mark Taylor, partner at Osborne Clarke.

DevOps 2.0

For organizations, DevOps 2.0 brings the power of DevOps to non-technical team members. While this may sound risky, it actually empowers marketing, design, and business teams to control targeted visibility and testing without consuming engineering resources. Because feature rollout will be decoupled from code deployment, non-technical team members would be able to control the visibility of particular features without compromising the app’s integrity. This is primarily achieved by harnessing a feature flag user interface – or a comparable control panel that allows team members to target users via a GUI.

SD-WAN benefits create serious competition for MPLS

SD-WAN architecture aims to solve many of the problems with previous iterations of WAN technology through increased flexibility. Since SD-WAN technology is based on an overlay, it can be provisioned over any type of WAN connectivity: dedicated or Internet-based circuits. In addition, SD-WAN benefits include provisioning and management that is abstracted into a controller and configured from a central location. Even if you're comfortable with the existing Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network, applications around segmentation and encryption make using SD-WAN over MPLS more attractive. ... SD-WAN abstracts any existing circuits, or underlay networks, into a single logical WAN connection. We can then classify traffic by connection and even aggregate links of disparate types together.

Even Strong Passwords Don't Cut It for Bank Payment Systems

2FA dramatically improves upon the lone password by requiring users to provide two verifying pieces of information (factors). Typically, the two factors are a password and a one-time code sent by SMS or email. Sometimes, a push notification, key fob, or fingerprint scan serve as the second factor. Payment systems should be the last place where a login ID and password alone are sufficient to send and receive money. Sadly, that’s not the case. Consider that most consumer payment systems allow users to access online accounts with a name and password only. Successful hackers can easily change the notification settings and transfer controls before filling their pockets, and the account holder might not notice the robbery for weeks. 2FA solutions would deflect more attacks, and properly implemented solutions would actually alert the account holder of suspicious activity.

Quote for the day:

"Nothing is more obvious than a product or service becoming a brand when it is has values that translate into fact." -- Richard Branson

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