June 04, 2016

Building Data Systems: What Do You Need?

Data engineers must be as conscious of the specifics of the physical infrastructure as that of the applications themselves. Though modern frameworks and platforms make the process of writing code faster and more accessible, the scale in terms of data volume, velocity, and variety of modern data processing means that conceptually abstracting away the scheduling and distribution of computation is difficult. Put another way, engineers need to understand the mechanics of how the data will processed, even when using frameworks and platforms. SSD vs. disk, attached storage or not, how much memory, how many cores, etc. are decisions that data engineers have to make in order to design the best solution for the targeted data and workloads. All of this means reducing friction between developer and infrastructure deployment is imperative.

4 Reasons Why Bitcoin Represents A New Asset Class

“It’s governed by a protocol run by a distributed network of computers,” says White. “That’s in stark contrast to fiat currencies, which are dictated by government monetary policy. Bitcoin is really just math, code, run by individuals on their computers all over the world to ensure the credibility of it, and on the opposite end, you have fiat governed by a small group of individuals.” A look at the growth in the supply compared to gold and the U.S. monetary base shows in a glance how differently Bitcoin, which will be capped at 21 million bitcoins and whose release is halved every four years until the maximum number of bitcoins is reached, functions.

Three important security upgrades to Android N

If you're a Chromebook user, you're already accustomed to that little arrow icon popping up to say that updates are ready to install. This is very much like the old Windows update. Although that Windows update caused a lot of problems for a lot of people, and issues with Chrome OS updates rarely appear. The same holds true with Android. This is important because so many users neglect to bother checking for updates. To that end, their devices will go with unpatched security issues for months. With the new update system, those patches will be applied in the background, in a sort of isolated instance of the operating system...running completely isolated from the working instance. During this time, all apps will be optimized (again, in the background). Once all apps are optimized, the operating system will seamlessly transition to the updated version.

Human Error Biggest Risk To Health IT

"Nearly all past successful network penetrations can be traced to one or more human errors that allowed the adversary to gain access to and, in some cases, exploit mission-critical information," Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Martin Dempsey, then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in the memo. "Raising the level of individual human performance in cybersecurity provides tremendous leverage in defending the [DoD's networks]." Medina's agency, which sits at the intersection of the military and healthcare and arenas, presents a target-rich environment for cyber criminals and other groups of digital adversaries. But the health sector in general has become a favorite target of hackers for a rather logical reason.

Myspace, Tumblr megabreaches put spotlight on security knowledge gap

"Board members, business [members] really don't understand the threat," he said at the recent MIT CIO Sloan Symposium -- this despite security now garnering more and more attention from the board and the C-suite. "They really understand that the level of sophistication, the amount of individuals that are involved in cyberattacks and their skill set have increased substantially in the last five to seven years," said Morrison, ... . Defense Intelligence Agency before joining State Street in 2013. One hopeful note: Security ignorance is not bliss for the majority of security professionals. According to the CompTIA survey, the 53% of security staff respondents who reported gaps in their departments' security skills said they wanted to be more informed in the latest cyberthreats, and about 40% feel they need to get better at educating end users, or that they need to know more about modern security technology.

Cities Are Ahead in the IoT Game, but States Need to Catch Up

“Government agencies that adopt a wait-and-see attitude toward the IoT are unlikely to develop the expertise or engender the trust needed to effectively and efficiently deliver services in this new reality and to reassure citizens concerned about how this new technology will affect them…public sector leaders ready to start tapping into the potential of IoT technology can begin by identifying specific, pressing mission challenges, and then analyze how more or better information, real-time analysis, or automated actions might help address them.” CIOs can also work at the enterprise level with agency heads or CIOs to develop standardization, avoiding silos and individual systems. Incompatible systems for IoT and data management will slow down the effectiveness and benefits of IoT for state government. CIOs should not understate the dollar value of IoT on the state budget.

Borderless Cyber Europe 2016 to emphasize the importance of threat intelligence sharing

We in the security industry might like to believe that attackers operate in a dog-eat-dog world. But that’s simply not the case. They are more than willing to exchange information. It just needs to be under the right circumstances. “Digital threats have moved sophisticated attacks techniques down into the realm of organized crime,” observes Peter Allor, a security strategist at IBM. “Whether by purchasing others’ tools or simply by telling one another, computer criminals are constantly sharing information with one another about how threats work and how they can modify a technique to accomplish a specific purpose.” In the process, they are also contributing to the collective threat intelligence knowledgebase, which empowers every bad actor to conduct more sophisticated attacks in the future.

How Six Sigma Promotes a Culture of Innovation

Taken to its extremes, one would have to dispense entirely with the scientific method of inquiry to buy into the critique, at least with respect to some of the stages of the creative process and the R&D role. “It’s an oversimplification to suggest that Six Sigma always has a chilling effect on innovation because of its emphasis on metrics and method and conformation to standards, thereby shutting down the timid who are afraid of the error part of trial-and-error, or those responsible for the cost justification of it,” said Mike DiLeo, president of Management & Strategy Institute, a provider of online, self-paced certification courses in Six Sigma. That the Six Sigma culture, because of its emphasis on planning and measurement, is incompatible with innovation isn’t necessarily the case. It wouldn’t be Six Sigma without an emphasis on metrics, so it’s fair to acknowledge that some businesses,

How Ransomware Affects Hospital Data Security

While hospital ransomware attacks are not a new issue, healthcare is likely becoming a more prominent target because of the sensitive information that organizations in the industry hold. The apparent increase in healthcare ransomware issues though, has not gone unnoticed, and stakeholders are beginning to take steps to ensure that covered entities and business associates of all sizes have the necessary tools to keep data secure. For example, the California Senate Public Safety Committee passed ransomware legislation earlier this year that outlaws the online act and specifies how the crime should be prosecuted. The legislation amends existing law that “establishes various crimes relating to computer services and systems” and defines extortion as “obtaining the property of another, with his or her consent, induced by a wrongful use of force or fear.”

The rise of SDDC and the future of enterprise IT

According to Gartner's Morency, the initial value provided by the SDDC is threefold: more automation, more agility, and more flexibility. With less manual effort, organizations can use their employees more efficiently and greater agility helps operations respond more quickly to business requests. An additional and often-overlooked use case for SDDC is in improving data center resiliency, said Morency. SDDC also helps to "provide the means by which the in-house enterprise IT staff can begin to configure, provision, [and] activate compute and storage resources at a level that's, maybe not the same, but much more competitive, much closer to what the large public cloud providers can offer," Morency added.

Quote for the day:

"We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles." -- James Earl Carter, Jr.

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