Daily Tech Digest - January 13, 2022

Crafting an Agile Enterprise Architecture

The blueprint for a truly agile architecture requires fundamental shifts in the business dynamic. There are three essentials that stand out as requirements for attaining agility across the entire enterprise. ... The bedrock of successful enterprise-wide agility is collaboration. Innovation will flourish when it is decentralized, and isolated silos give way to cross-functional, agile and self-organizing teams. An isolated IT team leads to delayed projects, overrun budgets, productivity that is hard to measure and disconnects between business and operations. Every department must be involved in supporting and achieving key business goals. Teams containing a mix of business line and IT professionals accelerate development and delivery, greatly reducing time to market. Based upon a shared customer-centric goal and vision, there is shared ownership of outcomes and a deeper level of engagement throughout the enterprise. Daily communication and collaborative feedback nurtures creativity, problem-solving, and drive continuous integration and continuous development. 

The Next Evolution of the Database Sharding Architecture

Considering the new challenges databases are facing, is there an efficient and cost-effective way to leverage these types of databases and enhance them through some new practical ideas? Database transparent sharding is one of the best answers to this question. One of the best techniques for this is to split the data into separate rows and columns. This splitting of large database tables into multiple small tables are known as shards. The original table is divided into either vertical shards or horizontal shards. Terminologies used to label these tables can be subjective to ‘VS1’ for vertical shards and ‘HS1’ for flat shards. The number represents the first table or the first schema. Then 2 and 3, and so on. These subsets of data are referred to as the table's original schema. So what is the difference between sharding and partitioning? Both sharding and partitioning include breaking large data sets into smaller ones. But a key difference is that sharding implies that the breakdown of data is spread across multiple computers, either as horizontal or vertical partitioning. On the other hand, partitioning is when the database is broken down into different subsets but held within a single database, sometimes referred to as the database instance.

How to make your home office a more pleasant place to work

Eliminating your commute may actually have some negative impacts on your body, especially if your commute involved some amount of walking or biking. These days you could conceivably not leave your home for days on end, and being that sedentary really isn’t good for you. Get up and move, and get your heart pumping. You don’t need a fancy home gym. Get a yoga mat and watch some YouTube workouts that require only your body weight. Force yourself to go for walks, even when you don’t wanna. Stretch! ... Suddenly you have unfettered access to your fridge and snack cabinets, and it can be very tempting to just graze all day. So, what do you do? Here’s the strategy that has worked better for me than anything else: Fill your kitchen with healthy foods, and only healthy foods. Yep, really. If I wander into my kitchen, wanting a snack, and there are chips there, I’m going to eat those chips. But if I go there and the only snackable foods are carrots and sugar snaps, then that’s what I’m going to eat. Basically, I have to use my tendency toward slothfulness against my tendency for gluttony, and it really works!

‘Fully Undetected’ SysJoker Backdoor Malware Targets Windows, Linux & macOS

Once it finds a target, SysJoker masquerades as a system update, researchers said, to avoid suspicion. Meanwhile, it generates its C2 by decoding a string retrieved from a text file hosted on Google Drive. “During our analysis the C2 has changed three times, indicating the attacker is active and monitoring infected machines,” researchers noted in the report. “Based on victimology and malware’s behavior, we assess that SysJoker is after specific targets.” SysJoker’s behavior is similar for all three operating systems, according to Intezer, with the exception that the Windows version makes use of a first-stage dropper. After execution, SysJoker sleeps for a random amount of time, between a minute and a half and two minutes. Then, it will create the C:\ProgramData\SystemData\ directory and copy itself there using the file name “igfxCUIService.exe” – in other words, it masquerades as the Intel Graphics Common User Interface Service. After gathering system information (mac address, user name, physical media serial number and IP address), it collects the data into a temporary text file.

Who is going to Support your Next Mobile App Project? Hint: Not React Native or Flutter

React Native and Flutter are quality projects built by very capable and talented teams. The problem is that they are both incredibly complex and the massive surface area of each project has led to a huge volume of bug reports and other issues, and neither project offers dedicated support. For users of these projects, this complexity and large issue volume, combined with a lack of official support options, ultimately leads to a situation where there are very few options for getting help and support when there’s an issue. Google and Facebook are notorious for lacking a strong customer support culture, even for their paid products. Support is just not their most important priority. This tradeoff enables them to build services that reach mind-boggling levels of scale, but is at odds with what traditional teams and enterprises expect when it comes to vendors supporting their products. Culturally, Google and Facebook just don’t do support well and certainly not when it comes to open source or developer-focused products.

Meeting Patching-Related Compliance Requirements with TuxCare

TuxCare identified an urgent need to remove the business disruption element of patching. Our live kernel patching solution, first rolled out under the brand KernelCare, enables companies such as yours to patch even the most critical workloads without disruption. Instead of the patch, reboot, and hope that everything works routine, organizations that use the KernelCare service can rest assured that patching happens automatically and almost as soon as a patch is released. KernelCare addresses both compliance concerns and threat windows by providing live patching for the Linux Kernel within hours of a fix being available, thus reducing the exposure window and meeting or exceeding requirements in compliance standards. Timeframes around patching have consistently been shrinking in the past couple of decades, from many months to just 30 days to combat fast-moving threats – KernelCare narrows the timeframe to what's about as minimal a window as you could get.

How to achieve data interoperability in healthcare: tips from ITRex

Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR) was released in 2014 by HL7 as an alternative to HL7 v2. It relies on RESTful web services and open web technologies for communication, which can enhance interactions among legacy healthcare systems. Additionally, RESTful API provides a one-to-many interface, accelerating new data partners onboarding. FHIR’s interoperability merits are not limited to EHR and similar systems but extend to mobile devices and wearables. ... Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) is a standard for communicating and managing medical images and related data. The National Electrical Manufacturer’s Association developed this standard. DICOM can integrate medical imaging devices produced by different manufacturers by providing a standardized image format. It allows healthcare practitioners to access and share DICOM-compliant images even if they are using different devices for image capturing. At ITRex, we had a large project involving the DICOM standard and medical imaging interoperability.

Enterprise Data: Prepare for More Change in This Hot Area of Tech

Enterprises using IoT can use embedded databases at the edge to copy aggregated sensor data to a back-end database when online. This brings the value of data directly to operations. At the same time, data from all the devices is being managed in the back-end database to develop analytics to advance the business. Artificial intelligence chips are taking center stage in these environments. AI chips refers to a new generation of microprocessors that are specifically designed to process artificial intelligence tasks faster and use less power. They are particularly good at dealing with artificial neural networks and are designed to do the machine learning model training and inference at the edge. We’ll also see the need for higher performance from edge computing hardware since better sensors and larger AI models now enable a host of new applications. There is a growing requisite to infer more data and then make decisions without sending data to the cloud. Also distributed sites can be linked together with an enterprise computing environment to create a unified computing environment.

How businesses overcome data saving and storing difficulties

First, companies that track data over time are able to understand trends and compare data points. With this information at hand, companies can start the analytical process of asking questions based on that knowledge. Then businesses can create new value from this data. Secondly, when companies begin collecting data, they are boosting their company’s transparency and transferability. This improves processes in any business. For example, a no-code dashboard can make data more objective and minimizes subjectivity. With the proper data tool, internal discussions will be centered more on the business objectives and goals. When having the right data at hand, it is easier to ask the right questions, such as how to improve sales after a product launch. Essentially, data eliminates the guessing. Both of these explanations of why storing data is important can be seen from a digital company or a physical one. Data is simply a way to understand your business better, no matter if it is big or small, analyze information, learn, improve and repeat the successes.

Securing your business in the hybrid workplace

Leaders have the chance now to reflect on what was learnt in the past two years and build on their company’s new digital foundations to create a secure, hybrid workplace fit for the post-pandemic economy. You should underpin your hybrid work goals with the rapid advances in technology now available to you, and to set up the foundations to accelerate growth – but simplicity will be key. For instance, with Microsoft 365 Business Premium, you can centrally configure, manage, and protect company-issued and employee’s personal devices accessing business information and services across Windows, Mac, Android or iOS. Simple features such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) can prevent 99 per cent of identity attacks by asking for additional evidence beyond the user’s password to grant access. Adding MFA for remote employees requires them to enter a security code received by a text, phone call or authentication app on their phone when they log into Microsoft 365. So, if a hacker gets hold of someone’s password through a phishing attack, they can’t use it to access sensitive company information.

Quote for the day:

"A belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses, it is an idea that possesses the mind." -- Robert Oxton Bolt

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