IT News and Events
May 25th, 2020 — May 31st, 2020 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Volume 266, Issue 4 << Previous Issue
IT News - CxO
10 Ways To Prepare Your IT Organization For The Next Crisis
Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic can help IT leaders and managers get ready for the next emergency
"Was your IT team ready for the COVID-19 pandemic?" asks Cynthia Harvey in InformationWeek. "Could your network handle the load of all your employees using the VPN at once? Did you have the right security measures in place to support remote workers? Did your IT team have the right tools to allow them to work remotely as well?

No doubt most IT leaders found that they were well prepared in some areas -- and less well prepared in others. And if you are like most, you probably spent the first weeks of the pandemic putting out fires as your team struggled to adapt to the new reality. You may have even had to deal with layoffs or short-term furloughs..."

InformationWeek, May 20th, 2020
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CIOs Reshape It Priorities In Wake Of COVID-19
Surfacing from crisis mode, CIOs find themselves redefining IT priorities, thanks to budgets in flux, a rising need to refine business processes, and new outlooks on the future of work
Stacy Collett writes in CIO, "Conn's HomePlus CIO Todd Renaud spent the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic's office shutdowns and store restrictions 'just trying to get through the next day.' One month later, he's setting his sights on what the next new normal might be, and what it will mean to the appliance retailer's IT strategy over the next year.

'I'm going to assume that our remote workforce will be a larger percent than it is today,' he says. 'How will that impact the company, assets and data? I'm thinking about the impact in our stores if we continue to have restrictions on the number of people' inside and other safety requirements. For example, Renaud is considering videoconferencing capabilities that could enable customers to virtually walk through the store with a sales rep serving as a guide to simulate an in-store sales experience..."

CIO, May 18th, 2020
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Coronavirus: How CIOs Can Prepare For Business Recovery
Economic recovery will require business to work differently. CIOs may be asked to automate more and support high levels of remote working
"In a joint statement with HM Treasury, the Bank of England has unveiled plans to support businesses hit by the lockdown," reports Cliff Saran in ComputerWeekly.

"Although the magnitude of the economic shock from the Covid-19 coronavirus is highly uncertain, the Bank of England and HM Treasury warned that activity is likely to weaken in the coming months. Temporary, but significant, disruptions to supply chains and weaker activity could challenge cash flows and increase demand for working capital from companies..."

ComputerWeekly, May 20th, 2020
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CISO Vs. CEO: How Executives Rate Their Security Posture
Leaders in cybersecurity have more discipline for implementing strategy on a regular basis, whereas non-leaders were more likely to update their cybersecurity strategy "intermittently," according to a survey of 200 CEOs and CISOs from The Wall Street Journal Intelligence and Forcepoint
"When CISOs have the backing of their non-technical C-suite counterparts, they will likely hit their goals. But not all organizations are created equal," opines Roberto Torres in CIO Dive.

"Boards recognize they lack the necessary information to make governance decisions without disturbing innovation. The democratization of security is disrupting how businesses operate across departments, and that turmoil requires better communication..."

CIO Dive, May 19th, 2020
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Johnson & Johnson CIO: Transformational Leadership Needed Now More Than Ever
Jim Swanson didn't expect to jump into crisis leadership mode three months into his new CIO role. But COVID-19 isn't slowing down his transformation efforts: If anything, they've accelerated
Jim Swanson writes in The Enterprisers Project, "When I stepped into the global CIO role at Johnson & Johnson last fall, I was profoundly inspired by the company's potential to positively impact human health. With an already-solid IT foundation, I was joining the world's largest healthcare company to leverage technology across Johnson & Johnson for the benefit of the patients and customers who count on us.

Little did I know that just three months into the job, the COVID-19 pandemic would change the world as we know it, and the work of IT leaders everywhere would become more important than ever before..."

The Enterprisers Project, May 21st, 2020
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CIO Interview: Simon Liste, Chief Information Technology Officer, Pension Protection Fund
Experience of delivering digital change in the private sector means the PPF's IT chief is well positioned to lead transformation in a critical public sector organisation
"Simon Liste, chief information technology officer (CITO) at the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), is using his experience of leading digital transformation in a range of businesses and sectors to bring change to a public sector organisation," writes Mark Samuels in ComputerWeekly.

"Set up by the Pensions Act 2004, the PPF protects millions of people throughout the UK who belong to defined-benefit pension schemes. If their employers go bust, and their pension schemes cannot afford to pay what they had promised, the PPF pays compensation for the lost pensions..."

ComputerWeekly, May 18th, 2020
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IT News - Security
Hacked Law Firm May Have Had Unpatched Pulse Secure VPN
REvil Gang Still Threating to Release More Data
Scott Ferguson writes in Data Breach Today, "A recent ransomware attack that targeted a law firm that serves celebrities may have been facilitated by a Pulse Secure VPN server that was not properly patched and mitigated against a well-known vulnerability, some security experts say.

The New York law firm of Grubman Shire Meiselas and Sacks, which represents many celebrities, including Lady Gaga, Madonna, Mariah Carey, U2, Bruce Springsteen and Mary J. Blige, is being extorted by the operators of the REvil ransomware variant who are asking for $42 million in ransom under the threat of releasing more documents it stole related to the firm's roster of clients..."

Data Breach Today, May 21st, 2020
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The 3 Top Cybersecurity Myths & What You Should Know
With millions of employees now attempting to work from home, it's vital to challenge misconceptions about cybersecurity
"Imagine you're working at the front desk of a tech company when a woman walks through the front door and tells you she was just in a car accident," writes Zack Schuler in Dark Reading.

"You ask if there's anything you can do to help, but she says it wasn't serious and asks if you could direct her to a restroom.

You later discover that the woman inserted a flash drive into an unattended computer and infected your company's entire system with a destructive form of malware. Or at least that's what she could have done if the malware was real - this strange scenario was actually an elaborate demonstration (arranged by a cybersecurity professional I know) designed to show employees that not all cyberattacks are carried out remotely..."

Dark Reading, May 18th, 2020
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8 Leading Identity And Access Management Products For 2020
IAM tools keep enterprises safe by ensuring only authorized users can access sensitive data and applications. Read this in-depth product overview of top tools on the market
Andrew Froehlich writes in SearchSecurity, "Modern identity and access management products help IT security professionals centrally manage access to all applications and files for employees, customers, partners and other authorized groups. This IAM-provided management is scalable across the entire corporate infrastructure, including the corporate LAN, wireless LAN, WAN, and even into public and private clouds. In many cases, IAM is a must-have for resources that fall under regulatory compliance rules..."
SearchSecurity, May 19th, 2020
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4 Myths Cybersecurity Experts Want Busted
No, malware cannot spread from devices sitting next to each other
Samantha Ann Schwartz writes in CIO Dive, "Before the coronavirus pandemic forced the workforce to work from home, employees conceded some flaws: There's a knowledge gap in security best-practices.

Four in 10 employees believe it's "maybe" possible for malware to infect devices that are "too close" to each other, according to a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. employees by Osterman Research in partnership with MediaPRO..."

CIO Dive, May 19th, 2020
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My Go-To List As A Security Professional
By popular request here is my go-to list as a security professional
Steve Hollands writes in peerlyst, "The list contains tools and scripts for every purpose , attack or defence , windows , linux , MacOs , wireless , databases , android etc

I made this list so that you have a fast solution for every problem without having to do an extensive and time-consuming search for the right tool , especially when speed is of the essence in crisis situations

Of course this list doesn't cover everything but i hope it covers a very wide range that can help you when in need of a specific solution in your day to day life as a security professional..."

peerlyst, May 18th, 2020
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Verizon's Data Breach Report Highlights How Unsecured Cloud Storage Opens Door To Attacks
Anecdotally, it has been clear for a while that enterprises are often leaving cloud storage repositories open due to oversight or error
Larry Dignan writes in ZDNet, "Now Verizon's security research shows that the "error" category is on the rise due to better reporting.

The plague of enterprises leaving cloud storage holding private data unprotected is starting to show up in the security statistics and is one of the few attacks on the rise, according to the Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report for 2020.

That reality is both good and bad, said Gabe Bassett, senior information security data scientist at Verizon Enterprise. The bad news is that misconfiguration errors still exist. The good news is that companies are reporting these breaches more and quantifying the issue. "I don't think it is a case of enterprises making more errors as much as them being reported more," said Bassett..."

ZDNet, May 19th, 2020
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60% Of Insider Threats Involve Employees Planning To Leave
Researchers shows most "flight-risk" employees planning to leave an organization tend to start stealing data two to eight weeks before they go
"More than 80% of employees planning to leave an organization bring its data with them," warns Kelly Sheridan in Dark Reading.

"These 'flight-risk' individuals were involved in roughly 60% of insider threats analyzed in a new study.

Researchers analyzed more than 300 confirmed incidents as part of the "2020 Securonix Insider Threat Report." They found most insider threats involve exfiltration of sensitive data (62%), though others include privilege misuse (19%), data aggregation (9.5%), and infrastructure sabotage (5.1%). Employees planning an exit start to show so-called flight-risk behavior between two weeks and two months ahead of their last day, the researchers discovered..."

Dark Reading, May 20th, 2020
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IT News - AI
Nvidia (With AMD's Help) Has Unleashed The Most Powerful AI System Ever
Nvidia DGX A100 system delivers five petaflops of performance with some EPYC sauce
"Nvidia has unveiled the third generation of the world's most advanced AI system with the launch of its new Nvidia DGX A100," writes Anthony Spadafora in

"The DGX A100 can deliver five petaflops of AI performance as it consolidates the power and capabilities of an entire data center into a single platform for the first time. The system is available now and the first order has already shipped out to the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory which will use its AI and computing power to better understand and fight against Covid-19...", May 18th, 2020
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IT News - Technology
Remote Desktop Software: 8 Enterprise-Friendly IT Support Tools
The explosion of work-at-home employees and customers has spurred the need for more robust remote assistance software in many organizations. Here's help.
Keith Shaw writes in ComputerWorld, "For many companies, IT support has typically meant a member of the help desk walking over to an employee's desk and looking over their shoulder to fix any problems, or a quick one-to-one connection between an IT staffer and a remote office employee. With a majority of employees and IT staffers now working at home due to Covid-19, the need for enterprise-level software that can support these larger numbers has also grown.

Remote access tools have been around for years, with a range of features and benefits for companies and individuals looking to help less tech-savvy users with computer issues and maintenance. At its base level, the software creates a secure connection between one person's computer and a remote connection, allowing the first user to operate the second computer as if they were in the same room. Once the connection is made, several other features such as screen sharing, program installation, file transfer, text chat, and audio and video communications are supported..."

ComputerWorld, May 19th, 2020
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IT News - Humor
Memory-Lane Monday: Never Let A Software Guy Near Hardware
It could take you a long time to cool off
"This pilot fish gets an early-evening call from his business's security company, telling him that the computer room is sending out a 'high thermal event' alarm.

There's no answer after several tries to contact the tech who's on call, so fish makes the 45-minute drive to the office..." - ComputerWeekly

ComputerWeekly, May 18th, 2020
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Wayback Wednesday: Maybe They Weren't Looking For Fast
It all seems so familiar
"This pilot fish goes in for a job interview, and the hiring manager tells him, 'I like to give everyone a little programming test. You should be able to complete it within 15 minutes. Are you OK taking a simple test?'

Sure, says fish.

Turns out it really is simple. Fish only takes about five minutes to produce a little two-line function with a Boolean return value..." - ComputerWeekly

ComputerWeekly, May 20th, 2020
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IT News - HR
5 Tips To Help You Interview And Hire Remotely
In the crazy world we live in today, you and your employees are likely working from home
"Your business is also likely suffering from the economic impact of the novel coronavirus, which shuttered much of the world, especially retail and entertainment," suggests Angela Hausman in Business 2 Community.

"But, as the world starts to open again, you may need to hire more staff either because you lost employees during the shutdown or because you'll need additional employees due to the requirements for reopening. So, even as you're working from home, you need to begin the process to interview and hire now. It's important to note that process for interviewing and hiring remotely is quite different from the hiring processes you're used to. Here are 5 five tips that help you get interviewing and hiring remotely right..."

Business 2 Community, May 19th, 2020
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Top 10 Return-To-Office Guidelines HR And Business Leaders Need Now
Companies that are reopening offices will need to plan for an entirely different model than what preceded the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are 10 guidelines that can make it easier
"As stay-at-home orders lift, businesses everywhere are faced with a complex decision -- how and whether workers can return to the office," writes Pam Baker in SearchHRSoftware.

"While we were 'all in it together' going into the COVID-19 crisis, the same cannot be said for coming out," said Leagh Turner, president of global human capital management firm Ceridian.

In the new normal of face masks and physical distancing, businesses that plan to bring workers back to regular offices will face an intricate array of issues.

Here is specific guidance that business and HR leaders can use as a return-to-office post-COVID-19 checklist...."

SearchHRSoftware, May 19th, 2020
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IT News - Linux
Linux Security: 8 More System Lockdown Controls
Locking down a system isn't rocket science but it's not intuitive either. Learn additional security controls that won't cost you anything but time to implement
"System lockdown doesn't have to be a big or a horrible task that strikes dread into the most jaded of sysadmin hearts," writes Ken Hess in Red Hat News.

"No, it's not intuitive or necessarily trivial to properly lock down a Linux server, but it's also not quantum physics either. In my previous article, Sysadmin security: 8 Linux lockdown controls, I covered eight essential changes that you need to make to every Linux system regardless of function. In this article, I cover more system controls that you can implement quickly and at no cost..."

Red Hat News, May 21th, 2020
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2020 Will Be The Year Of Linux On The Windows Desktop
Linux on Windows just took a big graphical desktop step forward with Microsoft's plans for Windows Subsystem for Linux
"Linux on the desktop has had more than its fair share of troubles," opines Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols in ZDNet. "Sure, the Linux desktop has long been a favorite of top-flight developers, system administrators, and loyal fans. But, when it comes to the mass audience, Linux has only about 1% of users. One major company, however, still believes in the Linux desktop: Microsoft.

At Microsoft Build, its virtual developers' conference, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) 2.0 would soon support Linux GUIs and applications. Specifically, this will enable programmers to develop native and cross-platform programs with tools like GNOME Builder, KDevelop, and Emacs. Besides supporting Linux GUI programs, you'll be able to run Linux and Windows GUI applications simultaneously on the same desktop screen...."

ZDNet, May 20th, 2020
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IT News - IoT
IoT Edge Cloud Balances The Best Of Cloud And Edge Computing
Organizations are shifting IoT deployments from cloud computing to edge computing, but a newer option -- the edge cloud -- has emerged to bring the cloud to the edge
Jaimy Szymanski writes in IoT Agenda, "Cloud computing and edge computing are well known for their distinct advantages in IoT based on use case, data processing and storage needs. However, the combination of the two computing infrastructures offers greater flexibility to developers and lower latency to consumers while also maintaining data privacy standards.

Enter the concept of cloud at the edge, a term gaining traction among behemoth cloud service providers, network operators and IoT developers..."

IoT Agenda, May 20th, 2020
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IT News - Careers
A Top 10 Stupid Interview Question: What's Your Biggest Weakness?
In the May 19, 2020 Ask The Headhunter Newsletter a reader grapples with the biggest weakness and with trick questions
"It just happened again. An interviewer asked me one of those trick questions. 'What is your biggest weakness?' I actually researched this one. There are all kinds of recommended answers you can memorize. It's also true that it might be an honest question to get you to talk about yourself, or it might be a trick and they're looking for some particular kind of answer. I stopped trying to psych this out. But I would like to know what you think..." - Ask The Headhunter
Ask The Headhunter, May 18th, 2020
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IT Careers: 5 Essential Soft Skills To Strengthen
Soft skills can help you and your team navigate these challenging days. Post-quarantine, their value to your IT career will only increase: Work on these five
"In the world of IT careers, soft skills often take a back seat to technical skills," writes Hannah Paterson in The Enterprisers Project.

"Developing soft skills can be challenging, as they are generally neither measurable nor objective, and easy to overlook in the day-to-day pressures of the function.

This is particularly true in today's work environment, as we all adapt to working remotely while also juggling personal and family responsibilities. However, soft skills can not only help support your team throughout these challenging days, but also help prepare everyone for life post-quarantine..."

The Enterprisers Project, May 19th, 2020
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How CIOs Can Combat The IT Talent Shortage
Research shows organizations are still struggling to bring in IT talent. We identify the reasons why there's a shortage and what CIOs and other IT leaders can do to combat it.
Johna Till Johnson recalls in SearchCIO, "Water, water, every where, nor any drop to drink." This line from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner could just as easily apply to CIOs seeking to fill crucial spots in their IT organizations. The world may seem full of systems engineers, network specialists and IT generalists, but when it comes to critical roles like cloud architects, cybersecurity specialists or agile developers, there's hardly "any drop to drink."
SearchCIO, May 22nd, 2020
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IT News - Virtualization
VirtualBox 6.1.8 Released With Support For Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2, CentOS 8.2
one of the best free, open-source and cross-platform virtualization software
Marius Nestor writes in 9to5Linux, "In VirtualBox 6.1.8, Oracle added Guest Additions support for the recently released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2, CentOS Linux 8.2, and Oracle Linux 8.2 (only with the Red Hat compatible kernel) distributions. In previous releases, the Guest Additions failed to compile on these distributions.

The Guest Additions were also improved with proper support for resizing X11 guests and better handling of multi-monitor configurations, as well as the re-implementations of the 'VBoxClient-checkhostversion' functionality to check the host version of the VirtualBox client for debugging purposes..."

9to5Linux, May 18th, 2020
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IT News - Backup
Top 5 Enterprise Anti-Ransomware Backup Solutions
From Cobalt Iron, Asigra, Commvault, Unitrends and Veritas
"Expectations as to the features that an enterprise backup solution 'must' offer often come about due to technology advancements. Backup appliances, backup-as-a-service (BaaS), cloud connectivity, deduplication, and hyperconverged appliances represent recent advancements that many enterprise backup solutions now possess. As we enter the 2020's, this has, for the moment, changed. Ransomware, a type of malware, represents an external force driving many of the innovations currently occurring in enterprise backup solutions..."
Storage Newsletter, May 18th, 2020
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