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The Trail to the Platform
July 1, 2020
Some years ago, Marc Benioff told me he was not interested in developing back office apps that would compete with SAP and Oracle in the ERP and finance market. Many people, myself included, looked askance at that idea and wondered out loud how the company would continue to grow because, hey, there's front office and back office and nothing else right? Nope.
E-Commerce Dominates 'New Normal' Retail
June 30, 2020
Shoppers are starting to come back to their favorite brick and mortar storefronts as the pandemic restrictions allow consumers to exit from lockdown. But the impact of COVID-19 has etched some far-reaching changes in the retail industry that will not set back the strides online shopping has gained since March. That is a conclusion clearly visible in research published last week by TrustRadius.
Cybersecurity and Your New Remote Workforce
June 30, 2020
For most organizations, COVID-19 has been a literal transformative agent. Our organizations have almost overnight gone from environments where teleworking was an exception, to where it's the norm. As any student of human nature will tell you, people tend to view "the new" with reservation. There's a temptation when things are new to assume the worst about them. For security pros, this means we often view new things as riskier than things we're familiar with.
Open Source Security Issues Exist: Deal With Them, Report Urges
June 25, 2020
Open Source Software is becoming much more commonplace within organizations, bringing a different set of risks and perceived challenges compared to closed source or proprietary software. The Information Security Forum has released a report to help security professionals recognize the benefits and perceived challenges of using Open Source Software.
Website Development Contracts, Part 3: Important Cloud and SLA Considerations
June 25, 2020
The cloud is an essential component of all e-commerce sites. Not all clouds, however, are created equal. The key thing here is reliability. Making sure that the cloud service and Service Level Agreement (SLA) are right for your business may not be clear before you enter into a website development contract.
Cisco and the Importance of Empathy in a Technology Vendor
June 22, 2020
Cisco Live was last week, and this was their first large scale virtual event. What made this event very different from the other games was the amount of effort they put into socially responsible projects. Many of the customer projects they highlighted are dealing with a variety of world problems, be they related to the pandemic or not.
The Strange, Meandering Journey to Online Speech Regulation
June 12, 2020
There has been a lot of debate in the public sphere around the degree and kind of legal regulation a society should apply to online speech. While the dialogue has become more intense and urgent in the last few years, the effort to impose limits on Internet speech has been contentious from the start. At present, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is undergoing reconsideration.
New Flaws in Intel's CPU Software Guard Extensions Revealed
June 11, 2020
Two separate teams of academic researchers have published papers describing flaws in Intel's Software Guard Extensions. SGX enhances application security by letting developers partition sensitive information into enclaves with hardware-assisted enhanced security protection. The aim is to protect application code and data from disclosure or modification.
Verint Automates Management of Return-to-Work Health Practices
June 10, 2020
Verint has announced new capabilities within its workforce management solution that automate compliance with CDC guidelines to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection as employees transition back to the workplace. New workflows automatically create a comprehensive schedule that is prescriptive, while including traditional workforce management criteria such as skill level, channels and peak hours.
Linux Foundation Offers Discount-Priced Cloud Engineer Bootcamp
June 9, 2020
The Linux Foundation is priming the pump to help software engineers get cloud technology-certified through a self-paced bootcamp and discount pricing. LF last week announced the availability of the Cloud Engineer Bootcamp, its first-ever training bootcamp. This new offering enables individuals to go from complete IT beginner to certified cloud engineer in only six months.
Rethinking Remote Education
June 8, 2020
In these trying times, kids have to deal with a lot of stuff they weren't prepared for: a significant loss of weeks of education, damaged GPAs, and no assurance they'll be going back in the fall. However, some schools were able to pivot because they already had implemented remote programs that were mature, easily implemented, and designed by teachers for teachers.
'New Normal' Security Era Begins for US Agencies, Cloud Providers
June 4, 2020
U.S. government agencies and cloud technology providers are heading toward a reset in how they cooperate on cybersecurity challenges. The expected growth of cloud use will create a more complex federal security landscape, according to a report from Thales. Federal agencies actually have moved ahead of businesses in cloud adoption, with 54 percent of agency data already embedded in the cloud.
Jack Dorsey and the End of Twitter
June 1, 2020
I'm a member of what is likely a reasonably sizable informal group of people who trained to be a CEO but declined the job -- in my case, several times. So I don't envy the position that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is in as he tries to figure out a way to do the right thing concerning the spread of false information and defend his company against an attack by the designated leader of the free world.
Influx of E-Com Sales? Now's the Time for 2021 Tax Planning
May 29, 2020
Consumer spending has shifted even more heavily from brick-and-mortar to e-commerce during the coronavirus pandemic. Many retailers are pivoting to e-commerce shops for the first time, and established online retailers are experiencing sizable growth. Businesses that are seeing the highest uptick are those selling "essentials" -- including groceries, office supplies and more.
Apple-Google Contact Tracing App Gets First Trial in Switzerland
May 29, 2020
Switzerland has launched a pilot program for SwissCovid, a contact tracing app based on Apple and Google's jointly developed APIs. The APIs will work with iOS 13.5 and devices running Android 6.0 or higher. The pilot involves several thousand workers at Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, ETH Zurich, the Swiss Army, and staff at some hospitals and cantonal administrations.
Necessity May Give Us a Virtual Court System
May 25, 2020
One of the exciting things that came out of Microsoft Build was that the company has been working to create virtual court solutions. If done right, a virtual system could fix a lot of court-related problems. It would allow judges to work around their schedules better and give attorneys improved access to online resources. It also might provide a way for jurors to improve their understanding.
Work.com and the CRMification of Society
May 20, 2020
CRMification is the process by which the culture absorbs CRM technology, processes and techniques to achieve some kind of new utility for getting things done better, faster and cheaper. Today we should add safer too. Another way to state it is that CRM is a disruptive innovation in the culture. The next normal will have something to do with CRM.
Microsoft Reimagines Azure
May 20, 2020
Developers are the driver of innovation in the world we live in today, said Scott Guthrie, EVP of the Microsoft Cloud+AI Group, in his presentation during the company's virtual Build 2020 conference. "With Azure we built an end-to-end cloud that enables developers to focus on building applications and not have to worry about the underlying infrastructure the applications run on."
Apple Gingerly Sets More Stores to Reopen
May 19, 2020
Apple has reopened nearly 100 of its retail outlets around the world and plans to open another 25 in the U.S. and 12 in Canada. All of its retail stores previously were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "Our commitment is to only move forward with a reopening once we're confident we can safely return to serving customers from our stores," noted Apple SVP of Retail Deirdre O'Brien.
How to Stay Safe on the Internet, Part 4: Fighting the Power
May 15, 2020
Category 2 adversaries are nothing to sneeze at, but their resources are finite. If you armor up enough, they will give up, and move onto an easier comparable target. In confronting the threat of category 3, everything you have learned ratchets up to a whole new level of paranoia. Category 3 adversaries have functionally unlimited resources for pursuing top targets.
What's Going On With Oracle?
May 14, 2020
Oracle appears to be undergoing a kind of resurgence during the coronavirus crisis. Financial analysts are saying nice things about its ability to pay dividends even in tough times. Its technology, which always has been good, is seeing an interesting uptick. All of this is buffing the company's image after years of, yes-but responses from the market.
Facebook Sets Up Political Advocacy Group as High-Tech Teeters on Edge
May 13, 2020
Facebook has set up American Edge, a political advocacy group for the high-tech industry, which is drawing scrutiny from United States lawmakers. American Edge will fund ad campaigns and studies by academics to push its efforts. Facebook is working with a diverse group of stakeholders to build support for the tech industry. It formed American Edge as a nonprofit organization in December.
Report: Working From Home May Be a Keeper
May 12, 2020
More than 40 percent of professionals working at home because of the pandemic would prefer to work remotely full time, suggests a new report from Valoir. "One of the reasons we did this survey was to help provide people with more data to understand they weren't alone, and we expected to hear more about stress and the negatives of remote work," said Rebecca Wettemann, principal at Valoir.
IBM's Strategic Approach to Diversity
May 11, 2020
IBM's outgoing CEO Ginni Rometty gave a compelling talk at IBM Think last week on how the company is fighting strategically for diversity. I know of only one other company, Cisco, that is taking a genuinely holistic, strategic view of the problem, resulting in a broad positive impact. The reason I can name only two companies is that most are taking a tactical approach.
Information Security: New Rules
May 8, 2020
Warren Buffet once said, "Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked." You can cover over a host of sins when times are good, but bad or unsafe practices will be exposed when times are rough. Time and experience have borne out the accuracy of this witticism in the financial arena -- and we're now seeing its applicability to the intersection of infosec and COVID-19.
Red Hat's Virtual Summit Crowds Hint at Future Conference Models
May 7, 2020
In what could be a trial run for more of the same, Red Hat last week held a first-ever virtual technical summit to spread the word about its latest cloud tech offerings. CEO Paul Cormier welcomed online viewers to the conference, which attracted more than 80,000 virtual attendees. The company made several key announcements during the online gathering and highlighted customer innovations.
Salesforce Revamps Work.com to Help Businesses Address Pandemic
May 6, 2020
Salesforce has announced a new version of Work.com designed to help businesses function safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. "Work.com is a completely new initiative using an existing domain name that we previously owned," said Salesforce spokesperson Joel Steinfeld. "Our focus is on speed and moving as quickly as possible to help our customers, and Work.com is an optimal way to do that.
Far-Right Spreads COVID-19 Disinformation Epidemic Online
May 5, 2020
Far-right groups and individuals in the United States are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to promote disinformation, hate, extremism and authoritarianism. "COVID-19 has been seized by far-right groups as an opportunity to call for extreme violence," states a report from ISD, based on a combination of natural language processing, network analysis and ethnographic online research.
Zoom Oracles Its Way to Center Stage
April 28, 2020
Oracle and Zoom just entered a deal that for once is more about technological audacity than about dollars -- a partnership to host Zoom on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. In just a few months -- basically since the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic -- Zoom has seen demand for its service grow from about 10 million daily meeting participants to more than 300 million.
Study Reveals E-Commerce Shopping Patterns That Hint at New Normal
April 28, 2020
Consumers and companies worldwide have ramped up online ordering for software products and digital goods as they struggle to improve productivity and security while working remotely and spending more time at home. The sharp spike in online commerce aligns with the timing of the current global pandemic. Software-based offerings accounted for the highest levels of growth.
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