IT News and Events
Mar 30th, 2020 — Apr 5th, 2020 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Volume 265, Issue 1 << Previous Issue
IT News - CxO
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Coronavirus: 9 CIOs Explain How They're Enabling Telework
We asked technology leaders at state and local governments across the country what they're using to enable public servants to work without coming into an office. Here's what nine of them said.
Ben Miller writes in Government Technology, "Amid all the uncertainty about how fast COVID-19 (coronavirus) is spreading across the U.S., and whether the country will succeed in 'flattening the curve,' many governments have started sending a portion of their employees home.

But in the age of the Internet, that doesn't mean they can't still work. And that's where the IT department comes in - remote work for government requires policies and human resources work, but it also very much relies on the ability of employees to access the software, data and systems they use to serve the public..."

Government Technology, March 25th, 2020
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The Impossible Role of the CISO
Security Organizations must evolve. The CISO cannot be credible on all fronts
"A recent comment I read on Linkedin made me think," recalls JC Gaillard in Business 2 Community. "It was in response to a post on zero-day vulnerabilities and software patching, and roughly translated from the French, it read as follows:

'One day, you stand in front of the Ex Co having to explain how the millions spent on cyber over the years have improved their level of protection; then you go back to your desk to discover that 3 new vulnerabilities have just turned up which need patching across the entire estate; Welcome to my world !!!'

While I accept this reflects the life of many CISOs, it attracts comments at two levels:...."

Business 2 Community, March 25th, 2020
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Top Tips For Business Leaders In Times Of Crisis
As more companies continue to be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, leadership mentor Michael Anderson gives his tips for business leaders during a crisis
"Due to the current coronavirus crisis, business leaders are now having to deal with many unprecedented obstacles, including employees working remotely, meaning changes in work setups and communication methods, and delays in production," writes Aaron Hurst in Information Age.

"As it's likely that the current situation is unlike any other that businesses have encountered before, there's bound to be much uncertainty among workforces that leaders will need to manage...."

Information Age, March 24th, 2020
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Don't Let Cyber Insurance Distract You From Your IT Strategy
Government IT professionals considering taking on cyber insurance to protect their agencies from internet-based risks may be taking the easy way out
Rachel Eckert writes in GCN, "Rather than spend money on insurance, they should reallocate the funding that would have been spent on a policy and use it to make critical updates and future upgrades.

A growing problem with no signs of abating

In the state, local and education marketplace (and in fact nearly everywhere else), ransomware attacks show no sign of slowing down. According to a report from Emisoft, there were more than 113 ransomware attacks on state and local government and 89 attacks on K-12 school districts and universities in 2019. Cyber analysis and media firm Cybersecurity Ventures predicted that ransomware attacks will cost as much as $6 trillion by 2021..."

GCN, March 27th, 2020
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IT News - Security
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Cybercriminal Group Mails Malicious USB Dongles To Targeted Companies
Shown as a proof-of-concept in 2014, this is the first known use of the BadUSB exploit in the wild
Lucian Constantin writes in CSO Online, "Security researchers have come across an attack where an USB dongle designed to surreptitiously behave like a keyboard was mailed to a company under the guise of a Best Buy gift card. This technique has been used by security professionals during physical penetration testing engagements in the past, but it has very rarely been observed in the wild. This time it's a known sophisticated cybercriminal group who is likely behind it..."
CSO Online, March 27th, 2020
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2020 Cybersecurity Risks: Insecure Security Tools, Supply Chains, Abandonware
Considerable time and money are invested into looking for dangerous vulnerabilities in the most commonly used elements of IT infrastructure
Peleg Hadar writes in HelpNet Security, "Popular operating systems, networks, utilities and security tools constitute attractive targets for malicious hackers.

Here are some lessons we should learn from cybersecurity research in 2019..."

HelpNet Security, March 23rd, 2020
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96% Of It Leaders In The Legal Sector Say Insider Data Breaches Are A Major Concern
Egress global Insider Data Breach Survey reveals legal sector employees twice as likely to breach company policy when data sharing than employees in other sectors
"Egress, the leading provider of human layer security solutions, today published the legal sector analysis of its second global Insider Data Breach Survey. The study found that a staggering 96% of IT leaders in the sector say insider breach risk is a significant concern. 77% think employees have put data at risk accidentally in the past 12 months and 78% think employees have put data at risk intentionally. When asked about the implications of these breaches, over one-third (36%) say financial damage would be the area of greatest impact..." - AiTHORITY
AiTHORITY, March 24th, 2020
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IT News - MFA
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Think Multi-Factor Authentication Can't Be Hacked? Think Again
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a good way to protect online accounts, but that doesn't mean users should let their guard down, warns a security expert
Cindy Baker writes in IT World Canada. "MFA is generally stronger than simple password protection because users must provide two or more different sources to prove their identities,"

"But if someone tells you it's unhackable, you shouldn't rely on them,' said Roger Grimes, a Data-Driven Defense Evangelist at KnowBe4 at a recent ITWC webinar. 'Most people are startled when they see how easy it is."

Grimes said organizations should train their users to beware of potential scams, even if they're using MFA..."

IT World Canada, March 27th, 2020
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Can Multi-Factor Authentication Help Healthcare's Security Posture?
Multi-factor authentication blocks nearly all automated cyberattacks, and most compromised accounts didn't use the tech. Healthcare's security posture is in need of improvement.
Jessica Davis writes in HealthITSecurity, "Microsoft has found multi-factor authentication (MFA) blocks 99.9 percent of automated cyberattacks on Microsoft platforms, websites, and other online services. As hackers continue to target user credentials and email compromise, providers must bolster their defenses by employing better access controls and improving the security posture across the enterprise.

The latest Microsoft stats show that 99.9 percent of compromised accounts did not use multi-factor authentication. And just 11 percent of organizations use MFA, overall...."

HealthITSecurity, March 26th, 2020
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IT News - Storage
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Status Of Object Storage
Leaders Hitachi Vantara, Scality, NetApp and MinIO, then Cloudian and Caringo, Red Hat and SwiftStack
"NVIDIA recently announced the acquisition of SwiftStack, an object storage start-up that, in the last year, refocused most of its work on high performance and AI workloads.

This follows a similar hand over from Western Digital to Quantum about the ActiveScale business, another object store that was more and more tailored to specific workloads. These 2 object stores will compete for less in the general-purpose S3 space, and will be instrumental in the creation of end-to-end solutions..." - Storage Newsletter

Storage Newsletter, March 25th, 2020
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What's the Problem with NAS backup?
NAS backup has always been problematic, but what exactly are the issues with NDMP, and what are backup suppliers doing to make a decades-old storage staple easier to protect?
"NAS backup seems like talk from yesteryear in these days when the cloud is on the rise and disk declining," opines Antony Adshead in ComputerWeekly.

"But there's still a lot of NAS storage out there - from departmental boxes to scale-out NAS - and data on such hardware needs backup like any other in the organisation.

Testimony to this is that the rising star of backup in recent years, Veeam, announced that the latest version (v10) of its Availability Suite would ship with much enhanced NAS backup capability..."

ComputerWeekly, March 24th, 2020
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Storage Class Memory Makes Its Way Into The Enterprise
The number of SCM products and use cases is growing. Find out which vendors have SSD and memory offerings and how they're being used in various products
"Today's workloads are putting unprecedented demands on memory and storage resources, leaving IT to scramble for innovative approaches to increase IOPS and reduce latency," notes Robert Sheldon in SearchStorage.

"One promising technology is storage class memory, a non-volatile memory technology that's nearly as fast as dynamic RAM but can retain data even if power is lost, just like an SSD.

Storage class memory, or SCM, is a new tier in the memory/storage hierarchy, sitting between SSDs and dynamic RAM (DRAM) to better support latency-sensitive applications. Because of its DRAM-like capabilities, SCM is often referred to as persistent memory, or PMEM. An SCM device, in its truest sense, connects directly to the server's memory and is byte-addressable, similar to DRAM. At the same time, an SCM device can persist data and support block-level access, like a NAND drive, resulting in more possible use cases..."

SearchStorage, March 25th, 2020
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Flash Memory Standards And Interfaces Every IT Admin Should Know
Flash memory standards can be confusing for even seasoned IT pros. TLC, QLC, MLC, SLC flash and so on. SAS vs. NVMe, NVMe-oF among others. Let's make sense of this acronym soup
"Every IT professional knows we are overwhelmed with acronyms in our industry, and flash storage is no exception," notes George Crump in SearchStorage.

"The problem is the industry uses these acronyms so frequently, it is difficult to keep up with all of them. These various methods of describing flash memory standards and interfaces are vital for IT to know as they impact how they might implement the technology.

First, IT professionals should understand how flash storage interconnects. Most flash vendors today, even if they provide turnkey hardware, are software developers. The hardware is, for the most part, a server that a manufacturer configures to support a higher number of drive slots than the typical server..."

SearchStorage, March 26th, 2020
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IT News - Technology
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5 Innovative Applications Of Edge Computing
Edge Computing can be used to push applications, data and services away from centralized hubs to logical extremes of a network
"It additionally empowers analytics and information age to occur at the source of the data. Edge Computing covers a wide scope of technologies, for example, Remote Sensor Systems, Circulated Information stockpiling, Augmented Reality and the sky is the limit from there.

While it's easy to find explanations about what Edge Computing is and how it functions, most organizations truly need to know how it could influence their business. Internet of things (IoT) gadgets are now hitting the market in tremendous numbers, so organizations need to see how new developments in Edge Computing practices can be made advantageous for them...." - AiTHORITY

AiTHORITY, March 24th, 2020
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Best Tech For Students Working From Home
Make it easier for you and your kids to get work done while keeping the peace
"Many families suddenly find themselves trying to balance work and keeping their kids' education on track due to school closures from the coronavirus," notes Joshua Goldman in CNET.

"While you might have been able to get by with a single family computer at home, the current situation may demand buying something to supplement it. Or maybe you're just in need of some accessories to make what you've got do more. Either way, we're here to help...."

CNET, March 23rd, 2020
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How To Plan Engaging Virtual Events
As conference organizers face the daunting task of moving events from in-person to online, what can they learn from virtual events that get it right?
"Consider 3 keys to success", writes Carla Rudder in The Enterprisers Project.

"Business is anything but usual these days. However, despite massive shifts in business travel, work environments, and schedules, the show must somehow go on. For many tech and business conference organizers, that means shifting from in-person to virtual events...."

The Enterprisers Project, March 24th, 2020
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IT News - Humor
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Flashback Friday: No, If It Were Too Risky ... Oh, Never Mind
The logic of upper management baffles once again
Pilot fish works for a health care organization that's looking for ways to cut costs and boost efficiency using IT - and there are some obvious targets.

'One particular area where I felt we could make some gains involved the reports from outlying clinics,' says fish. 'They were transmitted in files to a secure FTP server, and then employees would print out the files and enter the information into three different systems manually.' - ComputerWorld

ComputerWorld, March 27th, 2020
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Memory-Lane Monday: Seeing Is Believing
No, no - that's what the cup holder is for!
It's 1998, and there are still plenty of old PCs in use at the newspaper company where this new-to-IT pilot fish works.

'Back then, humorous emails about clueless users and IT woes were still pretty new,' says fish. 'I read one claiming a user had put a CD-ROM in a floppy-disk drive. I discounted it as a silly claim. I couldn't believe you could actually do it. - Computerworld

Computerworld, March 23rd, 2020
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IT News - Database
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Why Are Database Migrations So Complex?
4 common mistakes made in database migrations -​ and how to avoid them
"In a perfect world, IT could push a button and move an enterprise's data from one location to another," writes Jen A. Miller in CIO Dive.

"But of course this is not a perfect world, and the same complexity that makes databases the heart of an enterprise's operation makes it more difficult to move without careful planning - and more dangerous to mess up..."

CIO Dive, March 24th, 2020
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IT News - FOSS
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LibreOffice 6.4.2 Available For Download
The Document Foundation announces the availability of LibreOffice 6.4.2
LibreOffice 6.4.2 is the 2nd minor release of the LibreOffice 6.4 family, targeted at technology enthusiasts and power users. LibreOffice 6.4.2 includes several bug fixes and improvements to document compatibility.

Mac users will be happy to know that the issue of blurry fonts on Retina displays has been resolved.

LibreOffice 6.4.2 represents the bleeding edge in term of features for open source office suites, and as such is not optimized for enterprise class deployments, where features are less important than robustness. Users wanting a more mature version can download LibreOffice 6.3.5, which includes some months of back-ported fixes. - The Document Foundation

The Document Foundation, March 25th, 2020
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IT News - Cloud
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Build Your Cloud Strategy -- The Right Way
A rapidly growing cloud presence demands careful thought and planning. Here's what you need to do to set your organization on the right course
"Now that cloud computing is an integral part of virtually all IT infrastructures, it's essential for every enterprise to prepare a comprehensive and flexible cloud strategy," opines John Edwards in InformationWeek.

"Dave Bartoletti, a vice president and principal analyst at IT research firm Forrester, recently observed that cloud computing has become an essential linchpin in enterprise business technology. "Customers demand more cloud-enabled experiences."

InformationWeek, March 26th, 2020
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IT News - DR
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Gartner Recommends Five-Phase Strategy For Business Continuity
Gartner has recommended that organisations follow a five-phase strategy for business continuity during the coronavirus pandemic
"According to Gartner, CIOs can play a prominent role in increasing resilience in order to ensure business continuity throughout the coronavirus crisis and beyond," opines Aaron Hurst in Information Age.

"Daniel Sun, research vice-president at Gartner, said: 'Companies tend to have traditional business continuity strategies and plans that focus on the continuity of the resources and processes, but omit the business model.

'However, the business model itself can be a threat to continuity of operations in external events, such as the global outbreak of COVID-19.'

The strategy Gartner recommends is as follows:..."

Information Age, March 24th, 2020
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NS1 Security Chief: Does Your Disaster Recovery Plan Consider Pandemics?
Ryan Davis, NS1's newly hired chief information security officer (CISO), says the company's customers ask a lot of questions about business continuity plans and exercises lately
"It makes sense.," notes Jessica Lyons Hardcastle in SDxCentral.

"NS1 develops web and application traffic management software for almost 500 major brands worldwide including Squarespace, Salesforce, Linkedin, Yelp, and Dropbox. And these companies don't want the COVID-19 pandemic to disrupt their business operations.

'There's a very heightened concern, and I would say rightfully so, that their vendors are doing all of the things right,' Davis said. 'Given the critical nature of what we do, I don't fault any of them for coming in asking those questions. That being said, I think now is too late. You should be asking those questions before you're in the middle of an incident.'

SDxCentral, March 26th, 2020
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IT News - IoT
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10 Steps To IoT Deployment Success
Business outcomes should take center stage when planning to deploy IoT. Address these 10 areas to smooth your project plan and guarantee quality and revenue
Mary K. Pratt writes in IoT Agenda, "Approximately 30% of IoT deployment initiatives fail in the proof-of-concept phase, while 38% of IoT adopters said that the technical challenges and complexity of IoT hinder their ability to move forward, according to Microsoft's "IoT Signals" report released in 2019.

The report found that business interest in IoT remains strong despite the high number of failures and hindrances. Some 85% of the 3,000-plus responding enterprise IoT decision-makers said they were moving forward with IoT adoption, with 75% of those reporting projects already in the works. Among adopters, 88% said they see IoT as critical to business success, citing an expected 30% ROI within two years...."

IoT Agenda, March 27th, 2020
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IT News - Developer
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COVID-19, Software Developers And Becoming All-Remote (Part 1)
Here we will dive into the human aspects affecting all of us, and address some of the ways in which we can turn this unfortunate event into an engaging learning experience for ourselves, our team and everyone we interact with
Claudio Pinkus writes in Jaxenter, "This is the first article in a four-part series dedicated to helping software developers, managers and organizations adapt to the pandemic emergency and become all-remote. In this first article, we will focus on the basics.

There are many lists available discussing the right toolset and the behavioral changes necessary to be an all-remote team or organization. This article is not about that. Here we will dive into the human aspects affecting all of us, and address some of the ways in which we can turn this unfortunate event into an engaging learning experience for ourselves, our team and everyone we interact with..."

Jaxenter, March 25th, 2020
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Five Security Principles Developers Must Follow
The stakes are higher. Security must be the number one priority
"Agile, MicroServices and DevOps are all disciplines that have worked hard to increase the rate at which software can adapt to changing business requirements. How do we bake security into the mix so we don't end up adding it badly in a rush at the end?" asks Joe Drumgoole in Jaxenter. "The answer is DevSecOps.

Developers and their applications are the backbone of organisations across the world.

But in recent years, large scale security breaches have put data protection at the forefront for product development teams. With the likes of the GDPR now in place, security must be a priority...."

Jaxenter, March 26th, 2020
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