August 31, 2016

UAE infrastructure ministry upgrades IT to support smart government

“As a result of this project, we have also been able to bring our e-services back in-house, which were earlier hosted at a third-party datacentre. Now, all 23 services are available through our website and can paid for through e-dirhams or credit card. “We had the support of higher management, especially Abdullah Belhaif al Nuaimi, minister of public works, in achieving our goal of 100% small governance.”  The MoID’s datacentre and network upgrade project has won multiple independent awards. It is an example of how to harness the power of technology to improve customer service, enhance employee collaboration and keep costs in line.

How bitcoin was brought down by its own potential—and the banks

Bitcoin may be the platform on which this coming blockchain boom operates, or it may not. I imagine this will depend on some purely economic calculations being done by unfathomably vast and powerful financial institutions. In comparison to the almost $5 trillion traded on the international currency markets each and every day, bitcoin’s $10 billion market cap is next best thing to a rounding error. It could vanish entirely and only a small cadre of true believers (and high-end drug dealers) would even mark its passing. What does seem certain is that the revolution heralded by bitcoin now looks more likely to be transactional rather than transformational. Don’t get me wrong: I think bitcoin is a fundamentally useful thing. Its myriad advantages over fiat currency would seem to demand its widespread adoption.

How Cyber Security Pros Transition To Board Level Decision Makers

Many successful candidates were CISOs or CSOs with a cyber or IT background and a deep understanding of cybersecurity issues from a more technical point of view, he says. ... Candidates from the consulting or legal world who focused on cybersecurity were also successful in getting board positions, Comyns says. CEOs of cybersecurity companies who have moved on from those roles after acquisitions or IPOs have also become very interesting to boards, he adds. “These candidates also shared a strong business acumen that adds value to the board beyond the cyber topic. That’s always the tricky part,” Comyns says. “Finding a true, deep cyber-level expert and somebody who is a broad business leader and can communicate at that level with the board on other topics beside cybersecurity – that would always be first choice.”

Enterprise Architects “Know Nothing”: A Conversation with Ron Tolido

Because customer and business needs are constantly changing there really is no way to know what IT landscapes will look like in the future or what type of solutions organizations will need, Tolido says. Therefore, rather than asking clients what they need, IT must instead provide users an architected platform of services that can be mixed and matched to meet a variety needs, enabling business customers to go in any direction they want. As such, Tolido says Enterprise Architects in this emerging digital era are comparable to the character Jon Snow from HBO’s Game of Thrones—a character who is often told “You know nothing.” Like Jon Snow, today Enterprise Architects effectively know nothing because businesses have no idea what the future will hold, whether two days or ten years from now. With new business scenarios developing in real-time, architectures can no longer be painstakingly planned for or designed.

Global cybercrime costs will exceed $6T annually by 2021

"The lack of user awareness when combined with a significant uptick in criminal activity (and improved tactics) has given rise to a number of large scale private and public sector breaches that have resulted in a global epidemic of issues surrounding confidentiality, integrity and availability of data and services," he added. Ransomware attacks have risen a whopping 300 percent in 2016, the report found. And cybercriminals produced malware at a rate of 230,000 new samples per day in 2015. However, 2016 figures are predicted to be much higher. Even worse, a new zero-day vulnerability was discovered every day in 2015.

Devops and cloud: Great together, great apart

Most enterprises still use laborious processes for design, development, testing, and deployment of new and incremental software releases. And many claim they use those complex approaches because they are not yet ready to move to the cloud, which would be a catalyst for adopting devops. Yes, there's a synergy between devops and cloud computing. But one does not require the other. Devops is useful for any software development, not cloud deployments alone. Similarly, you can use different development models for the cloud, such as agile -- not only devops. Devops and cloud computing should be independent but complementary concepts. If you remember the old Reese's peanut butter cup commercials, devops and cloud computing go together like peanut butter and chocolate.

87 percent of IT execs think mobile apps are secure — they're wrong

According to several sources, between 54 and 84 percent of cyberattacks are occurring at the application layer. This data means that there are actual attempts to exploit these vulnerabilities. These types of attacks are only expected to increase due to the continued dramatic rise in mobile and IoT, and applications represent the soft, vulnerable underbelly for organizations. Devices have been shown time and time again to be vulnerable, from hospital infusion pumps to remotely-accessed automobile controls. The good news is that no catastrophic incidents have been prevalently reported. However, we are at a tipping point where there have been numerous wake-up calls for organizations to adapt their security strategies to be better prepared for the new wave of risks and threats that are in front of them.

Cyber threat grows for bitcoin exchanges

The security challenge for the bitcoin world does not appear to be letting up, according to experts in the currency. "I am skeptical there's going to be any technological silver bullet that's going to solve security breach problems. No technology, crypto-currency, or financial mechanism can be made safe from hacks," said Tyler Moore, assistant professor of cyber security at the University of Tulsa's Tandy School of Computer Science who will soon publish the new research on the vulnerability of bitcoin exchanges. His study, funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and shared with Reuters, shows that since bitcoin's creation in 2009 to March 2015, 33 percent of all bitcoin exchanges operational during that period were hacked.

Swift warns banks of fresh wave of cyber heists

Elite cyber criminal groups are investing heavily in penetrating high-value payment platforms, high-value corporate and banking networks, and payment processes such as Swift. “Hackers targeting financial institutions are much more professional than they used to be,” said Troels Oerting, group chief security and information security officer at Barclays and former head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3). “They take their time, they look at the processes, they have good resources, they are very adaptive, and they are more dedicated to going after bigger prizes rather than going after easier targets with smaller prizes,” he told Computer Weekly. These elite groups typically use social engineering and spend a lot of time identifying who in a bank has privileged access to payment platforms to target them exclusively to steal their login credentials.

How can cities with 18th century infrastructure support 21st century life?

In Los Angeles, a simple move of switching the city’s street lamps to LED bulbs equipped with mobile sensors is saving the city $8 million a year. And most Americans probably recall the disastrous and deadly collapse of a bridge in Minneapolis in 2007—today the “smart bridge” that replaced it is outfitted with over 300 sensors that track temperature, vibration and possible corrosion, among other factors. Similar technology is being used in bridges across the US to anticipate similar tragedies before they can happen. Among transportation experts, mobility-focused digital innovations like apps that encourage car-sharing and microsimulations that predict travel demand are expected to be essential for the safe and efficient growth of the 21st-century city, as reported in a new study from EY.

Quote for the day:

“It’s okay that we’re not perfect...that we all have problems. It’s okay to cry, to show emotions” -- Marina Abramovic

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