Daily Tech Digest - August 14, 2017

How IT Can Prepare For VR, AR & MR In The Enterprise

With great opportunities come great responsibility, as Uncle Ben might have said if he’d worked in IT. “Like anything else, when you adopt a new technology, it puts a strain on your infrastructure,” warns Chad Holmes, principal and cyber CTO at professional services organization EY. “You have to uplift your infrastructure to support a new communication path or channel.” Unfortunately, Holmes continues, many companies don’t have the back-office capabilities required to support AR, MR and VR. “The technology is there, but a lot of improvements need to be made to old legacy systems to make sure that these types of technologies can function how they’re supposed to,” he says. “For most, it’s a big investment.” The other big concern cited by Holmes and others is the security issue raised by the addition of new remote devices sharing data wirelessly.

How to move into a cloud career from traditional IT

So, if you have held very general roles in IT architecture or security, you now need to now focus on the solution-based use of specific cloud services, including security services. For many enterprise architects, this is a somewhat unnatural act, but it’s necessary if you want to command higher pay and job security. ... The path for a database admin is pretty easy to map. Basically, it’s a matter of understanding the databases that are likely to be used for cloud-based workloads, and then mapping your skills to those specific databases. For example, Oracle DBAs can certainly continue their career with Oracle running on the public cloud. However, enterprises that move to public clouds usually opt for cheaper and more modern database technology, so it would be good for Oracle database admins to learn how to admin other databases.

CIO interview: Mike Proudlock, interim head of IT, The Royal College of Surgeons

As with any period of major change, Proudlock anticipates there will probably be a lot of uncertainty for staff as the RCS progresses with its digital transformation plans.  “I expect my main challenge will be to keep everyone in the IT team fully engaged and committed to what we need to deliver despite the inevitable uncertainty – both for us as a department and staff in the wider organisation,” he says.  “From previous experience leading similar major changes, I have found the best approach is to be as open and transparent with people as possible, including admitting when there is no information available,” he adds. “I’ve seen too many cases where someone has tried to waffle their way through in such cases, and it almost always comes back to bite them.”

10 bad habits cybersecurity professionals must break

"As security layers need to be put in place, there will be incompatibilities between different technologies, so workarounds will be found, competing technologies will need to be turned down or off, repetitive settings will have to be changed and will be forgotten to be changed across different policies," Pozhogin said. Disabling or removing protections such as antivirus, network security protocols or two-factor authentication for convenience can lead to an exposed system with deliberately bypassed protections and unencrypted documents, said Travis Farral, director of security strategy at Anomali. "Any click on a phishing email or successful drive-by attack on exposed systems will give attackers access to them and anything that can be accessed through them," he added.

Overcoming the Misery of Mega-Project Delivery

While many project managers would readily agree with the importance of these questions, in practice, there are often inadequately addressed, resulting in (sometimes catastrophic) ripple effects. In the case of Deepwater Horizon, two pivotal behaviours were at the genesis of the outcome. The first was a combination of arrogance and overconfidence which resulted in the failure to effectively address the escalating pressure building up the pipe from the sea floor. The second was driving the drilling team to accelerate schedule at the expense of safety. Addressing these two behavioural attributes of the project culture may well have averted the disaster. In the end, the project failure was really a people failure. Many organisations use projects as vehicles for embedding strategic initiatives and effecting change.

Are Integrator IT Skills Overblown?

Due to technology advancement trends, including cloud computing, it is no longer true that all security systems integrators must become experts in all IT facets of computer, software, hardware and network deployment. There are some levels of enterprise security system deployment that continue to require advanced IT skills; however, many more security system deployments do not require such a high level of IT expertise. Based on the continued acceleration of information technology trends, we should expect to see electronic physical security systems become more capable, and become less trouble to own and maintain, as well as less trouble for integrators to install and commission. Even security system cyber protection should become easier –provided that manufacturers fully embrace current cybersecurity principles, practices and technologies.

Cybersecurity machine learning moves ahead with vendor push

Microsoft is positioning itself to fight back against the success of Amazon Web Services, according to Charlotte Dunlap, an analyst with Current Analysis in Sterling, Va. The company launched a new container service and joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) amidst earnings reports indicating that its Azure platform is outcompeting Salesforce and other providers. Microsoft unveiled a preview of its Azure Container Instances service in a bid to support developers who want to avoid the complexities of virtual machine management. Dunlap said the announcement is significant because companies are still reluctant to deploy next-generation technologies incorporating containers and microservices, despite their advantages.

How to use Apache Kafka messaging in .Net

Both Kafka and RabbitMQ are popular open source message brokers that have been in wide use for quite some time. When should you choose Kafka over RabbitMQ? The choice depends on a few factors. RabbitMQ is a fast message broker written in Erlang. Its rich routing capabilities and ability to offer per message acknowledgments are strong reasons to use it. RabbitMQ also provides a user-friendly web interface that you can use to monitor your RabbitMQ server. Take a look at my article to learn how to work with RabbitMQ in .Net.  However, when it comes to supporting large deployments, Kafka scales much better than RabbitMQ – all you need to do is add more partitions. It should also be noted that RabbitMQ clusters do not tolerate network partitions.

The real success of AI will only come with treating workers well

A recent report by PWC on the future of work noted: "Automation and Artificial Intelligence will affect every level of the business and its people. It's too important an issue to leave to IT (or HR) alone. A depth of understanding and keen insight into the changing technology landscape is a must." That's true, but there's also an opportunity here for the technology industry. IT understands how AI works and needs to show other industries how it can be incorporated without simply destroying jobs. By their own behaviour, IT companies and IT departments need to show that using AI and automation isn't necessarily bad for jobs and skills: to show that harnessing this new technology can still create more jobs than it destroys. That means using AI for more than cutting costs and being willing to help workers adjust to the need for new and different skills.

4 steps to conducting a GDPR compliance audit

Even if your company is based outside the EU, you may still need to be GDPR compliant. What determines the need for compliance is who you hold data on. If you collect data on any EU citizen, you are subject to the regulatios. This includes selling or shipping an item to someone in the EU, or even shipping inside the U.S. but the person doing so is using a credit card from the EU. GDPR touches upon how we use and store data, for how long and for what purpose. It addresses how we inform individuals about which data we hold, how to anonymize the data and how we delete it. It also requires control over scenarios such as who responds to the request from the consumer exercising their right to be 'forgotten' and to make sure that it’s dealt with within reasonable time. The fact that some organizations are now required to hire a data protection officer (DPO) suddenly means that GDPR takes on an entirely different level of importance.

Quote for the day:

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." -- Oscar Wilde

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