The recent "WannaCry" cyber-attack had all the real-life intrigue and drama of an episode of "24". A vulnerability first uncovered by the NSA was released by hackers on the internet. Its effects were swift and widespread - more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries were impacted, including hospitals in the U.S. and U.K. The premise of the attack was simple - once a computer was infected, all the data on that device was encrypted. To get it back, users would have to pay a ransom in bitcoin before the end of a countdown. If they failed to do so, their files would be destroyed. The "Jack Bauer" of this story is not a super-operative, with 9 lives living in the shadows, but a 22 year older researcher from southwest England who identifies himself as "MalwareTech". And he stopped the attack by purchasing a domain for $10.69.
Military service has always been at the heart of my family’s history. Between my father’s naval service of 28 years—including time served on the Tennessee in Pearl Harbor—my sister’s 22-year career as an army nurse and my own 3-year career in the United States Marine Corps, my family’s service has spanned every major conflict between 1940 and 1989. Alongside us in all of those conflicts were men and women with their own stories of service and sacrifice, some at the greatest price. Those years and experiences profoundly impacted the person I am today and, consequently, how I lead ViON. Though I’m no longer on active duty, my goal has always been to continue serving and protecting our nation in new ways as a civilian, while also honoring those who have fought with us and those who continue to put their lives on the line. So, in more ways than one, “service” is at the heart of ViON too.
This morning I joined thousands of cyclists who rode their bikes to work for National Bike to Work Day. And today, like every ride, I would periodically check out how I was doing on my Garmin bike computer. As I cycled through all the screens and data points that I had at my fingertips, it occurred to me how this one simple activity of riding to work is the perfect microcosm of the Internet of Things (IoT). We now have the technology and ability to create, track, analyze, store and share hundreds of data points, just in the act of riding a bicycle.
On April 22nd, we recognized the 47th official Earth Day; the original was held in 1970, when it was founded by Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in. For those of us in the IT industry, it's an opportunity to evangelize the "green data center" and extol the virtues of consolidation, virtualization, reducing carbon footprints and lowering the consumption of power and cooling. And we should be having these conversations - not just in April, but all year round. As temporary residents of planet Earth, we have a responsibility to tread lightly and preserve what we have for generations to come. But the reality of green IT is that there are multiple shades of green - where environmental stewardship intersects with fiscal prudence. As IT budgets get leaner and leaner, decisions skew in favor of the green of money. But the reality is, with the right approach, green IT responsibility can equate to financial responsibility.
According to The Channel Company’s latest statistics, cloud computing and cloud managed services are the fastest growing technology areas for state and local governments. We know that Cloud computing can mitigate organizational risk, enable a more predictable financial model and allow for the modernization of applications, but there’s more to the story.
Everyone knows that to keep your body healthy you must practice good hygiene washing your hands frequently, brushing your teeth, etc. Likewise, there are important guidelines for practicing good cyber hygiene. Keeping your computer clean and safe from viruses and other malware is a matter of constant vigilance and attention to the basic principles of IT best practices. You need only read the headlines of your favorite news outlet to realize how significant this is in our growing world of data.
All throughout the month of March, the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records, National Gallery of Art, the National Park service and other organizations are celebrating the study and observance of the vital role women have played in American history. In the spirit of this occasion, we are honoring the women making history today within our own walls and getting their advice for women who aspire to careers in technology.
On this, the 14th day of March, allow me to wish you a very Happy Pi Day. As we recognize that infinite geometric number, beginning with 3.14 and representing the ratio between the diameter of a circle and its circumference, it's a reminder of how things come full circle. Just as I suffered through learning the meaning of Pi in 1984, 33 years later I am helping my 5th grade son navigate the same trials and tribulations. And, as I was very likely listening to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album on vinyl while doing my math homework in 1984, I could just as easily be listening to that same LP that I just purchased off Amazon yesterday. Record albums, once on the verge of extinction, are now a growing business. And fashion trends, notoriously cyclical, keep me holding out hope for the return of parachute pants… but here I remain disappointed.
The AWS cloud outage last week sparked a firestorm of debate on cloud. It continues to highlight that all clouds are not created equal and that the people and planning behind the decisions on what cloud model organizations should deploy are as important today as ever. Undoubtedly, this week the owners of the more than 140,000 sites affected are looking back at their move to the cloud and wondering how to anticipate and protect against downtime and disruption in the future. The answer is simple. When it comes to cloud strategy, there is no substitute for careful architecture, planning and management.
Google the term "frenemies" and as you might expect, you'll find references to Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Kim Kardashian and a host of Hollywood types. What you might not expect is to find references to Thomas Jefferson and John Adams (I didn't). And you certainly wouldn't expect to find anything on the Internet of Things and Cyber Security (you won't). But if you look at the definition," a person or group that is friendly toward another because the relationship brings benefits, but harbors feelings of resentment or rivalry" - the relationship between IoT and Cyber security is just that - complementary with an underlying rivalry.