IT News and Events
Oct 19th, 2020 — Oct 25th, 2020 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Volume 271, Issue 3 << Previous Issue
IT News - CxO
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6 Tips For CIOs Managing Technical Debt
Managing technical debt can be a challenge, but stepping back and positioning each project in the bigger picture can help minimize it going forward
"Most CIOs have at least heard the term technical debt," warns Johna Till Johnson in SearchCIO, "And if you're from a programming background, you might know all too well what technical debt is.

But for CIOs who aren't familiar with the concept, it could be a major source of strain in your IT departments and lead to major inefficiencies and lost opportunities..."

SearchCIO, October 14th, 2020
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IT Leadership Lessons From CIO 100 Award Winners
Today's CIOs must develop deep partnerships with business leaders and keep their teams focused on delivering innovation that pushes the business forward. Here five IT leaders discuss their award-winning initiatives and share insights about their success
"Today's CIOs are reshaping the enterprise," opines Thor Olavsrud in CIO. "Organizations wrestling with digital transformation and seeking to become more data-driven find CIOs at the forefront, leading IT through the wide variety of changes required to drive and deliver innovation, build resiliency and work with stakeholders to create business value.

Many IT leaders whose organizations have won the CIO 100 Award in IT Excellence for their efforts say the key to IT success is a laser focus on culture change, collaboration and business alignment..."

CIO, October 13th, 2020
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8 Ways CIOs Can Help Companies Emerge Strong After COVID-19
We continue to navigate the choppy waters created by the COVID-19 pandemic, but here are eight ways companies can enable digital transformation and overcome an uncertain economy
Paul Roehrig writes in SearchCIO, "Thanks to a small bit of contagious RNA, what Nobel Prize-winning biologists poetically called "bad news wrapped in protein," CIOs have seen the foundations of digital transformation (managing data, building software for consumers, modernizing how employees work, etc.) go from elective to mandatory nearly overnight. The future of work we imagined five years out is now showing up next quarter..."
SearchCIO, October 15th, 2020
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How To Optimize IT Costs
You do not need to sacrifice quality for a cheaper solution to save your IT department's costs. Sometimes an optimization of infrastructure management will be sufficient. ISPsystem's Product Owner of VMmanager virtualization platform, is sharing his views on the case
"You do not need to sacrifice quality for a cheaper solution to save your IT department's costs," suggests Alexander Grishin in Network Computing.

"Sometimes an optimization of infrastructure management will be sufficient. ISPsystem's Product Owner of VMmanager virtualization platform, is sharing his views on the case.

Never stop increasing your infrastructure's fault tolerance

To improve the fault tolerance of your infrastructure, use virtualization with live migration technology, network storage, disaster recovery systems, and high availability.

Control access to the infrastructure and log user actions. This will protect against accidental errors, when a human factor may affect operation of critical services..."

Network Computing, October 12th, 2020
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Digital Transformation: 3 Hard Truths
The path to successful digital transformation is far from straightforward, especially in the age of COVID-19. Consider these three often-overlooked realities, says Intel's CIO
"Business leaders and CIOs often undertake digital transformations with finite conclusions and endpoints. As technology innovation speeds up exponentially, it's clear that we need to reinvent our businesses continually to remain relevant and to thrive," writes Archana Deskus in The Enterprises Project.

"The C-Suite needs to foster continual digital transformation - not just with an organization's technologies, but for its entire business. A recent KPMG study finds that more than 70 percent of CEOs say the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated their digital investments. This requires a broader perspective to reimagine customer experiences and derive value through product, service, and innovative business models..."

The Enterprises Project, October 12th, 2020
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CIOs Feel Squeezed Between The Need To Accelerate Digital Transformation And The Increasing Challenges Of Cloud Complexity
New Research Reveals CIOs Looking to Automation and AI to Bridge Growing Gap Between Limited It Resources and Rapid Rise in Cloud Complexity
"Software intelligence company Dynatrace, announced the findings of an independent global survey of 700 CIOs revealing IT leaders are increasingly concerned accelerated digital transformation, combined with the complexity of modern multicloud environments, is putting already stretched digital teams under too much pressure. This leaves little time for innovation, and limits teams' ability to prioritize tasks that drive greater value and better outcomes for the business and its customers. The 2020 global report 'Observability, automation, and AI are essential to digital business success' is available for download here..." - AiTHORITY
AiTHORITY, October 16th, 2020
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IT News - Security
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19 Cyber Security Tips For Working From Home In 2020
Working from home presents unique security challenges. If you're working from home you can improve the security of sensitive data and protect yourself against cyber security threats by following these work from home security tips for employees
Dale Strickland's list from Business 2 Community:

1) Never reuse passwords

2) Create strong passwords

3) Use a single sign-on tool

4) Lock your workstation when you are not using it

5) Avoid sharing your accounts with coworkers

6) Beware of eavesdropping and shoulder surfing

...

Business 2 Community, October 15th, 2020
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Threat Intelligence Platform Market To Reach $234.9 Million By 2022
The growing volume and complexities of cyber threats present a compelling case for adopting threat intelligence platforms (TIPs), a Frost & Sullivan analysis finds
"These solutions help organizations navigate the ever-increasing threat landscape and allow for further analysis and threat intelligence operationalization.

The TIP market least affected by the pandemic

The yhreat intelligence platform market is one of the cybersecurity markets that will be least affected by COVID-19. It is estimated to reach $234.9 million by 2022 from $132.7 million in 2019, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21%..." - HelpNet Security

HelpNet Security, October 16th, 2020
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IT News - Storage
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This 15TB Samsung Super SSD Is Now Surprisingly Affordable
Samsung PM1643 SSD offers a lot of storage at a pretty fair price
"Five years is a very long time in technology," notes Desire Athow in techradar.pro, "but it's been that long since since Samsung unveiled its ground-breaking PM1643a SSD range, with a 15.36TB capacity.

Since then, the average price of this capacity model has fallen steadily but dropped like a lead ball more recently, as shown by the Nimbus Data ExaDrive NL.

You can now buy the drive for a mere $2,395.91 from Amazon, which is far cheaper than the $2,900 the 16TB Nimbus model..."

techradar.pro, October 15th, 2020
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IT News - AI
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How To Build A Chatbot - All You Need To Know
Michael Larsen, Head of Customer Success & Academy at BotXO.ai, takes us through the essential steps of building a chatbot. A chatbot project should be easy to carry out, easy to maintain and edit, and bring results pretty quickly.
"It should meet the needs of the business and potential problems to solve, proper flow and content, and integrations

To build a chatbot, you shouldn't need any coding skills. There are many chatbot-building platforms that you can use to develop your bot.

However, there are a few aspects that we usually discuss with customers before starting the process of building their bots. The three main elements that we focus on are the needs of the business and potential problems to solve, proper flow and content, and finally, the integrations..." - jaxenter

jaxenter, October 12th, 2020
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AI Governance Rises To The Top Of The Stack
Artificial intelligence (AI) is running amok, or so that's the general perception these days. AI governance is important because the stakes are so high for getting AI right and consequences so dire if we screw it up
"Governance must be approached from a risk management perspective," suggests James Kobielus in datanami.

"AI's principal risk factors are in the following areas:

  • Can we prevent AI from invading people's privacy?
  • Can we eliminate socioeconomic biases that may be baked into AI-driven applications?
  • Can we ensure that AI-driven processes are entirely transparent, explicable, and interpretable to average humans?
  • Can we engineer AI algorithms so that there's always a clear indication of human accountability, responsibility, and liability for their algorithmic outcomes?

..."

datanami, October 13th, 2020
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Scale Your Machine Learning with MLOps
When it is time for your machine learning pilot programs to graduate and take on the real world, you need to start looking at MLOps
Jessica Davis writes in InformationWeek, "A few years ago, everyone was trying to figure out how to get started with artificial intelligence and one of its components, machine learning. But today many organizations have put together pilot programs, identified promising use cases, and even turned around some value for their organizations.

After you've won those initial successes, it's time to expand that value to other use cases and other parts of the organization. But with each of your initial use cases you learned something. You developed some technology that you may want to use again. You identified approaches that may not have worked as well as others. How do you take those lessons and apply it to new projects? How do you ensure that you are not re-inventing the wheel each time you tackle a new data science job?..."

InformationWeek, October 16th, 2020
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How To Create A Successful AI Program
Artificial intelligence can be promising and valuable, but you need to focus on a few best practices to get your program moving in the right direction
"Lots of people are interested in artificial intelligence," writes Jessica Davis in InformationWeek, "and there are plenty of stories about the amazing strides that are being enabled by AI, in business, in medicine, and in any number of other areas. But the stories of wild successes hide a very different part of the AI process -- all the hard work that comes before that success.

Justin Nguyen, director of data science and AI and Sense Corp., likens those AI successes to snapshot photos he has taken at the summits of his favorite hikes in some of the world's most beautiful places. One photo shows an amazing view capturing a blue sky with puffy white clouds, miles of ocean coastline and then an entire forest, and hills of rocky outcroppings. It's spectacular..."

InformationWeek, October 14th, 2020
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IT News - Technology
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Intel To Amp Up Security With 'Ice Lake' Xeon SP Servers
Security is one of those necessary things that should not be an afterthought, but often is, and ideally is so invisible that it doesn't get in the way of applications and the infrastructure it runs on
Timothy Prickett Morgan writes in The Next Platform, "Speaking very generally, the cost of security has been so high on servers that for many years that even the hyperscalers and cloud builders could not deploy it throughout their infrastructure. And in many cases, the persistence of the IBM mainframe in the financial, insurance, and healthcare industries is that legendary security is built into the very platform. Ands they pay a hefty premium for that.

Over the two decades that it has been pursuing the datacenter budget with its Xeon processors and related server platforms, Intel has done a lot to bolster the security of the platform, but with the forthcoming 'Ice Lake' Xeon SP processors, Intel is providing a step function improvement in security in the datacenter..."

The Next Platform, October 14th, 2020
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IT News - Operations
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London To Become 'Gigawatt' Colocation Hub By 2023 As COVID-19 Fails To Dim Datacentre Demand
Inaugural datacentre market report by property consultancy Knight Frank highlights rise of secondary datacentre hubs across Europe, as COVID-19 prompts surge in demand for work and leisure-related cloud services
"The soaring demand for cloud and internet-based services across the UK will contribute to London becoming one of four European colocation hubs with an excess of 1,000 megawatts (MW) of live IT power by the year 2023," writes Caroline Donnelly in ComputerWeekly.

"According to a report published by global property consultancy Knight Frank, in conjunction with datacentre market watcher DC Byte, the city is one of the four biggest colocation hubs in Europe (along with Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Dublin), which are set to get even bigger over the course of the coming years..."

ComputerWeekly, October 13th, 2020
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IT News - Database
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What Are Cloud-Native Databases And Why Should You Use Them?
Cloud-native databases offer several benefits including enhanced scalability, accessibility, and responsiveness
John Allen writes in Network Computing, "The digital transformation of recent years has brought about a drastic change in handling and storing data. That's of a business and personal nature alike. Organizations worldwide are dealing with more data than ever before, and there's a pressing need for database solutions that are flexible, practical, and (perhaps most importantly of all) reliably secure.

A huge range of technologies are making effective use of the cloud and transforming how we all do business in the process. Just a couple of decades ago, who'd have thought that online meetings would be the 'new normal' for organizations across every sector of the business world? Yet thanks to the cloud and a VoIP service, it's never been easier to reach out to colleagues and clients around the globe. And in what feels like no time at all, it's become an everyday part of doing business..."

Network Computing, October 14th, 2020
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With Database Attacks On The Rise, How Can Companies Protect Themselves?
Misconfigured or unsecured databases exposed on the open web are a fact of life. We hear about some of them because security researchers tell us how they discovered them, pinpointed their owners and alerted them, but many others are found by attackers first
Zeljka Zorz writes in HelpNet Security, "It used to take months to scan the Internet looking for open systems, but attackers now have access to free and easy-to-use scanning tools that can find them in less than an hour.

'As one honeypot experiment showed, open databases are targeted hundreds of times within a few hours,' Josh Bressers, product security lead at Elastic, told Help Net Security.

'There's no way to leave unsecured data online without opening the data up to attack. This is why it's crucial to always enable security and authentication features when setting up databases, so that your organization avoids this risk altogether.'

HelpNet Security, October 14th, 2020
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IT News - Linux
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Learn Selinux Commands For Management And Troubleshooting
SELinux provides a more secure way to run Linux servers. Key commands for status, file management and troubleshooting can help you run SELinux smoothly on your infrastructure
"The NSA originally developed Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) as a set of Linux kernel patches that used Linux Security Modules to implement mandatory access controls within the Linux kernel," recalls Jack Wallen in SearchDataCenter.

"Through security policies, SELinux defines access controls for applications, processes and files. When an application or process attempts to access an object (such as a file), SELinux runs a check against the Access Vector Cache. If everything checks out, SELinux grants permission to the object. If the check fails, the system denies access..."

SearchDataCenter, October 14th, 2020
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IT News - Virtualization
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Simplify Software Distribution With Oracle VM VirtualBox
Oracle VM VirtualBox: Simplified software distribution with appliances
Simon Coter writes in an Oracle blog, "With the fast paced growth in the market and ever changing customer requirements, many enterprise developers find themselves in a rush to develop and deliver software. After distributing the applications to end users, support teams have to deal with issues that are often related to deployment environment configurations not meeting the application requirements.

The deployed application needs a specific operating system release, a set of libraries installed and available, and in some cases, proprietary third party modules/drivers. Most of the times just sharing the application binary may not be enough. The risk is that the end user or customer won't be able to run the application correctly, in their configure environment, and the application will fail..."

Oracle News, October 16th, 2020
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IT News - Backup
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Backing Up Databases Is Critical And Complex
Proper database backup is essential because of the importance of the data they contain, so understanding how the work is also a must
W. Curtis Preston writes in Networkworld, "Databases, also referred to as structured data, are an essential part of any data center. While databases do not typically hold a high percentage of the terabytes housed in a given data center, they do hold a high percentage of mission-critical data. Understanding their unique structure and operation is key to backing them up.

Structured data cannot be backed up like unstructured data due to three very big challenges. First, databases are typically stored in datafiles that are constantly changing as long as something is making updates to the database. This means you cannot just back them up like any other file..."

Networkworld, October 15th, 2020
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Best Enterprise Backup And Recovery Software Solutions
Veeam Backup & Replication, Commvault, Zerto, Cohesity DataProtect, and Rubrik
According to IT Central Station, the best backup and recovery software vendors are Veeam Backup & Replication, Commvault, Zerto, Cohesity DataProtect, and Rubrik.

Veeam is the top solution. One reviewer writes: 'We can now restore a single email box with all of its folder contents,' and another writes: 'User-friendly backup of the whole virtual server.'

The 2nd best product is Commvault. A user writes: 'Very good deduplication saves on storage space for us, making money available for infrastructure,' and another writes: 'Enabled us to consolidate multiple backup solutions into one, and it is a platform we can rely on for backups.'

StorageNewsletter, October 16th, 2020
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IT News - Big Data
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Are You A Big Data Laggard? Here's How To Catch Up
If your company has gotten behind in its big data management, there are ways to get current using automation
"Not all companies have the resources to develop their own big data management systems, hire the staff to manage them, and glean all the information they can from it," suggests Mary Shacklett in Techrepubic. "With large amounts of data coming in, this can lead to massive data management challenges.

"There are companies like Netflix and Twitter that immediately understood the value of big data and that had the resources needed to develop big data staffs and applications at the onset of the big data movement," said Monte Zweben, CEO of Splice Machine, a company that provides a SQL-database platform that's specifically tailored for accelerated big data modeling and deployment. "Unfortunately, most of the Fortune 2000 companies couldn't compete with these efforts, so they fell behind. They ended up with 'data silos,' like having one data science group whose work everyone in the company was competing for."

Techrepubic, October 16th, 2020
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The Insidebigdata Impact 50 List For Q4 2020
The team here at insideBIGDATA is deeply entrenched in following the big data ecosystem of companies from around the globe
Daniel Gutierrez writes in insideBIGDATA, "We're in close contact with most of the firms making waves in the technology areas of big data, data science, machine learning, AI and deep learning. Our in-box is filled each day with new announcements, commentaries, and insights about what's driving the success of our industry so we're in a unique position to publish our quarterly IMPACT 50 List of the most important movers and shakers in our industry. These companies have proven their relevance by the way they're impacting the enterprise through leading edge products and services. We're happy to publish this evolving list of the industry's most impactful companies!

The selected companies come from our massive data set of vendors and industry metrics. Yes, we use machine learning to analyze the industry in a detailed manner to determine a ranking for this list. We're using a custom RankBoost algorithm adapted specifically for the big data community along with a plethora of proprietary data sources. The rankings include an indicator for upward movement in the list and also for companies newly added..."

insideBIGDATA, October 13th, 2020
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IT News - Encryption
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Homomorphic Encryption Tools Find Their Niche
Current homomorphic encryption offerings require fewer specialized skills and are proving themselves effective in some use cases
"Organizations are starting to take an interest in homomorphic encryption," writes David Strom in CSO Online, "which allows computation to be performed directly on encrypted data without requiring access to a secret key. While the technology isn't new (it has been around for more than a decade), many of its implementations are, and most of the vendors are either startups or have only had products sold within the past few years.

While it's difficult to obtain precise pricing, most of these tools aren't going to be cheap: Expect to spend at least six figures and sign multi-year contracts to get started. That ups the potential risk. Still, some existing deployments, particularly in financial services and healthcare, are worth studying to see how effective homomorphic encryption can be at solving privacy problems and delivering actionable data insights. Let's look at a few noteworthy examples..."

CSO Online, October 12th, 2020
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Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) and Digital Signatures
If you have sent any plaintext confidential emails to someone (most likely you did), have you ever questioned yourself about the mail being tampered with or read by anyone during transit? If not, you should!
"Any unencrypted email is like a postcard," warns Ankur Kothiwal in the Linux Journal. "It can be seen by anyone (crackers/security hackers, corporations, governments, or anyone with the required skills), during its transit.

In 1991 Phil Zimmermann, a free speech activist, and anti-nuclear pacifist developed Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), the first software available to the general public that utilized RSA (a public key cryptosystem, will discuss it later) for email encryption and signing. Zimmermann, after having had a friend post the program on the worldwide Usenet, got prosecuted by the U.S. government; later he was charged by the FBI for illegal weapon export because encryption tools were considered as such (all charges were eventually dropped). Zimmermann later founded PGP Inc., which is now part of Symantec Corporation..."

Linux Journal, October 14th, 2020
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What Is Cryptography? How Algorithms Keep Information Secret And Safe
Public keys, private keys, and hash functions make the secure internet possible
Josh Fruhlinger writes in CSO Online, "Cryptography is the science of keeping information secure by transforming it into form that unintended recipients cannot understand. In cryptography, an original human readable message, referred to as plaintext, is changed by means of an algorithm, or series of mathematical operations, into something that to an uninformed observer would look like gibberish; this gibberish is called ciphertext.

Cryptographic systems require some method for the intended recipient to be able to make use of the encrypted message - usually, though not always, by transforming the ciphertext back into plaintext..."

CSO Online, October 15th, 2020
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IT News - Tape
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Does Magnetic Tape Have A Place In The Era Of Big Data?
It may seem odd to some that in the year 2020, magnetic tape is being discussed as a storage medium for digital data.
"After all, it has not been common in home computing since the 1980s. Surely the only relevant mediums today are solid state drives and Blu-ray discs? However, in data centers everywhere, at universities, banks, internet service providers or government offices, you will find that digital tapes are not only common, but essential.

Though they are slower to access than other storage devices, such as hard disk drives and solid state memory, digital tapes have very high storage densities. More information can be kept on a tape than other devices of similar sizes, and they can also be more cost effective too. So for data-intensive applications such as archives, backups and anything covered by the broad term big data, they are extremely important. And as demand for these applications increases, so does the demand for high-capacity digital tapes..." - Technology Networks

Technology Networks, October 12th, 2020
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From The University Of Tokyo, High-Capacity Tape For Big Data
New magnetic material and recording process can vastly increase data capacity
"Although out of sight to the majority of end users, data centers work behind the scenes to run the Internet, businesses, research institutions and more.

These data centers depend on high-capacity digital storage, the demand for which continues to accelerate. Researchers created a new storage medium and processes to access it that could prove game changing in this sector. Their material, called epsilon iron oxide, is also robust so can be used in applications where long-term storage, such as archiving, is necessary..."

StorageNewsletter, October 16th, 2020
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