Daily Tech Digest - April 20, 2019

How to reconstruct your business’s value chain for the digital world

How to reconstruct your business’s value chain for the digital world
What’s the big advantage of digital? It allows you to disconnect yourself from physical constraints. With uber, you no longer have to be in the street to hail a cab. You can order a cab from anywhere. If you digitize the supply-chain process, you are no longer linking the production of the product to one physical location. In the analog world, a person would check the inventory and write an order for supplies. When there was a spike in demand, that person would call more people and write more orders for more supplies. But in the digital world, you can create a manufacturing process where your inventory, recipes, and prices are all available on a digitized, harmonized ecosystem. When demand spikes, you can turn the dial on your [robotic process automation] RPA tool. When we digitize and harmonize complex business processes, we no longer have to call a guy who orders a part. Instead, you have a view into the inventory across multiple suppliers. The CIO has a unique and critical role in digital transformation, as long as they don’t fall into a few common traps. One such trap is when the CEO throws money at you and tells you, “Bring me this shiny new technology.”

Why Enterprise-Grade Cybersecurity Needs a Federated Architecture

A federated architecture combines the strengths of centralized and distributed and is, therefore, a kind of “best of both worlds” approach. With federated, a controller is placed in each data center or public cloud region (just like distributed), but those multiple controllers act in concert so as to provide the abstraction that there is one centralized controller. All of the controllers in a federated architecture communicate with each other to share information about the organization’s security policy as well as the workloads that are being secured. This type of architecture is the best when it comes to securing global infrastructure at scale. And, as is typically the case when writing enterprise-grade software, making the right architectural choice and then implementing it in an elegant way required our architects and engineers to spend a little more time and be a little more thoughtful. Our ultimate goal was to deliver an enterprise-scale architecture that delivered the benefits of a federated architecture without the downsides of distributed and centralized.

Ready for 6G? How AI will shape the network of the future

Take the problem of coordinating self-driving vehicles through a major city. That’s a significant challenge, given that some 2.7 million vehicles enter a city like New York every day. The self-driving vehicles of the future will need to be aware of their location, their environment and how it is changing, and other road users such as cyclists, pedestrians, and other self-driving vehicles. They will need to negotiate passage through junctions and optimize their route in a way that minimizes journey times. That’s a significant computational challenge. It will require cars to rapidly create on-the-fly networks, for example, as they approach a specific junction—and then abandon them almost instantly. At the same time, they will be part of broader networks calculating routes and journey times and so on. “Interactions will therefore be necessary in vast amounts, to solve large distributed problems where massive connectivity, large data volumes and ultra low-latency beyond those to be offered by 5G networks will be essential,” say Stoica and Abreu.

IT Governance 101: IT Governance for Dummies, Part 2

One of the powerful aspects of COBIT is that it acts as the glue between governance and management, describing both governance and management processes. Its concept of cascading enterprise goals to IT goals to enabler goals and metrics ensures consistent communication and alignment. These enablers such as Processes are where all the IT management frameworks can be plugged in, helping to give the frameworks a business context and ensuring that they focus on delivering value and outcomes, not just outputs. As stated by one expert in the UAE, “I think often because organizations do not do a goals cascade things feel disconnected and orphaned, but once you do a proper goals cascade you can see and feel the interconnection and how goals are interdependent on each other to achieve the enterprise-level goals. ... Clearly, these exploding business demands for new benefits exist and, at the same time, IT is expected to make everything secure, replace all that legacy stuff that is slowing down the Ubering, and stop IT from breaking as well.

Some internet outages predicted for the coming month as '768k Day' approaches

World map globe cyber internet
The good news is that network admins have known about 768k Day for a long time, and many have already prepared, either by replacing old routers with new gear or by making firmware tweaks to allow devices to handle global BGP routing tables that exceed even 768,000 routes. "Yes, TCAM memory settings can be adjusted to help mitigate, and even go beyond 768k routes on some platforms, which will work if you don't run IPv6. These setting changes require a reboot to take effect," Troutman said. "The 768k IPv4 route limit is only a problem if you are taking ALL routes. If you discard or don't accept /24 routes, that eliminates half the total BGP table size. "The organizations that are running older equipment should know this already, and have the configurations in place to limit installed prefixes. It is not difficult," Troutman added. "I have a telco ILEC client that is still running their network quite nicely on old Cisco 6509 SUP-720 gear, and I am familiar with others, too," he said.

Bots Are Coming! Approaches for Testing Conversational Interfaces

When testing such interfaces, natural language is the input and we humans really love having alternatives and love our synonyms and our expressions. Testing in this context moves from pure logic to something close to fuzzy logic and clouds of probabilities. As they are intended to provide a natural interaction, testing conversational interfaces also requires a great deal of empathy and understanding of the human society and ways of interacting. In this area, I would include cultural aspects, including paraverbal aspects of speech (that is all communication happening beside the spoken message, encoded in voice modulation and level). These elements provide an additional level of complexity and many times the person doing the testing work needs to consider such aspects. I believe it’s fair to say that testing a conversational interface can be also be seen as tuning, so that it passes a Turing test. Another challenge faced when testing such interfaces is the distributed architecture of systems.

Protecting smart cities and smart people

spinning globe smart city iot skyscrapers city scape internet digital transformation
For as long as most can remember, information security was a technology concern, handled by technologists, and discussed by security engineers and associated professionals. The security vendors presented at security conferences, the security professional attended accordingly, Cat people with cat people. You know how it goes. Within a Smart city eco- system, we need to extend the cyber conversation beyond the traditional players. How do we make the City Planner appreciate what we understand? How do we share and apply security best practices to an engineering company providing a Building Information Modelling (BIM) service to a Hospital or Defence project? Moreover, how do we, in the first instance highlight the security concerns? Attending and speaking at numerous cyber conferences I sometimes wonder, is this the right audience? In this digital eco-system, we should be speaking to civic and government leaders about our security concerns facing smart cities and critical infrastructure, not exclusively to other security professionals. They are well aware of the challenges and the resistance experienced.

Don't underestimate the power of the fintech revolution

According to Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, FinTech’s potential is to unbundle banking into its core functions - such as settling payments and allocating capital. For central bankers and regulators who are monitoring the sector, the growth of fintech is akin to any other disruptive technology - that is, will it lead to financial instability? Most fintech start-ups are not regulated as much as traditional financial institutions. So far, it’s the more open financial markets that have seen fintech develop rapidly. One example is the e-payment system M-Pesa, which operates in Kenya, Tanzania and elsewhere, and is one of the biggest fintech success stories since its emergence just a decade ago. By effectively transforming mobile phones into payment accounts, M-Pesa has increased financial access for previously unbanked people. The permissive stance of the Kenyan central bank allowed the sector to develop rapidly in one of East Africa’s most developed economies.

Data Breaches in Healthcare Affect More Than Patient Data

Data Breaches in Healthcare Affect More Than Patient Data
Cybercriminals go after any data they perceive to be valuable, says Rebecca Herold, president of Simbus, a privacy and cloud security services firm, and CEO of The Privacy Professor consultancy. "Payroll data contains a wide range of really valuable data that cybercrooks can sell to other crooks for high amounts," she says. "With the growing number of pathways into healthcare systems and networks ... that are being established through employee-owned devices, through third parties/BAs, and through IoT devices, I believe that such fraud is increasing because of the many more opportunities that crooks have now to commit these types of crimes." The recent attacks on Blue Cross of Idaho and Palmetto Health spotlight the importance for healthcare entities to diligently safeguard all data, says former healthcare CISO Mark Johnson of the consultancy LBMC Information Security. The attacks "underscore for me that the healthcare industry needs to protect the entire environment, not just their large systems like the EMR," he says.

Why Your DevOps Is Not Effective: Common Conflicts in the Team

In the DNA of DevOps culture lies the principle of constant and continuous interaction as well as collaboration between different people and departments. The key reason for this is a much greater final efficiency and a much smaller time-to-market compared to the traditional approach. Proper implementation of DevOps shifts the focus from personal effectiveness to team efficiency. At the same time, due to automation and the widespread introduction of monitoring and testing, it is possible to track the occurrence of a problem at the early stages, as well as quickly find the causes of problems. Building the right culture in the organization is important, and it does not depend on DevOps directly: problems occur in all companies, but in an organization, with the right culture all the forces will be thrown at solving the problem and preventing it in the future, rather than searching for the guilty side and punishing.

Quote for the day:

"Leaders are more powerful role models when they learn than when they teach." -- Rosabeth Moss Kantor

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