Companies Will Increasingly Be in the Cross-Hairs of Nation-State Cyber-Attacks

first_imgNation-state cyber-attacks will continue to evolve and accelerate but the damage will be increasingly borne by the private sector – In 2014, nation states around the world increasingly pushed the boundaries of cyber assault to control their own populaces and spy on other nation-states.  With no one actively working on the development of acceptable norms of digital behavior on the global stage – a digital Hague or Geneva Convention, if you will – we can expect this covert digital warfare to continue.  Increasingly, however, companies in the private sector will be drawn into this war either as the intended victims or as unwitting pawns in attacks on other companies.That is essentially one of the predictions I offered in my annual end of year letter published on Dec. 2, 2014.  Little did any of us know at that time that officials at Sony Pictures Entertainment and the FBI were in the midst of feverishly working to determine the full extent of an unprecedented cyber-attack that was subsequently attributed to North Korea.The Sony attack, in which nearly 100 terabytes of data were exfiltrated and millions of dollars in damage was done, was a wake-up call for everyone.  Suddenly, all companies realized that the list of threat actors they face includes adversarial nation-states, whose resources and capabilities dwarf those of hacktivists and even well-funded, global criminal organizations.The incident response team that helped Sony determine what had happened after the attack stated that this attack was so sophisticated that no company “could have been fully prepared” for it.  While the attack was certainly very serious and a substantial challenge, I beg to differ with that analysis.We are not helpless in the face of these attacks.There is something that enterprises can do today to prepare for these attacks – move beyond traditional, perimeter-based security strategies to a modern security strategy that emphasizes comprehensive visibility into and rigorous analysis of activity within our digital environments.Leveraging big data perspectives, processes, and technologies enables us to spot even the faintest signal of an attack and enable rapid, contextually-informed action to thwart it.  Breaches are indeed inevitable, but losses are not.  A big data driven security strategy will stop even the most novel and sophisticated of attacks because regardless of how stealthy an attacker may be, at some point, they will have to do something anomalous to achieve their goals, they will be identified, and they will be shut down.The second thing that we as individuals, enterprises, and industries can and should do is push for the world’s governments to begin approaching cyber weapons with the same care as they do chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.  As I indicated in my prediction, nation-states are testing the boundaries of acceptable cyber weapon use.  The damage of the Sony attack is just the beginning of what is possible and we need to take that seriously.In addition, if we have learned anything over the past few years, it’s that unlike physical weaponry that is limited in terms of its geographical reach and reusability, cyber weaponry is deployable anywhere and virtually infinitely reusable.  Sophisticated cyber weapons that are developed by nation-states will eventually fall into the hands of non-state actors who are not restricted by global standards in their use.  This is a prospect that should give all of us serious pause.  We need to demand the world’s leaders sit down and come to an agreement to take cyber weapons out of our nation-state arsenals.If we don’t, movies and e-mails won’t be all that we lose.last_img read more

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Women Interns in STEM Fields Thrive at Dell

first_imgFrom the interview process to the internship work experience, women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at Dell are supported whole heartedly — not only on this International Women’s Day, but every day. Different from the StartLorena Millo, a double major in finance and chemistry, noted how thoughtful Dell as a company was from the time she met a senior vice president at a recruiting event. She noticed how vivacious the SVP was, and that all the people at the Dell table were friendly and welcoming. She found that to continue throughout the interviewing process, a welcome change from other companies with which she’d interviewed.“When I went to interview, people wanted to get to know you and not just grill you for 30 minutes,” Millo said. “A lot of the other interviews that I did were very technical and that’s all that the focus was on. But with Dell, it was very different. It was more of a conversation.”While the interview did include technical discussion, interviewers focused on getting to know Millo holistically, not just as a finance or chemistry student.“They asked me about my two majors and that was something that they liked about me, which is usually not how it goes,” Millo said. “People more typically ask why I have two majors and if I am not interested enough in finance by itself. So it was kind of surprising that they like that about me.”Owning the WorkHiral Trivedi, who worked as a web application developer intern, appreciated the support from her team as well as the opportunity to create solutions on her own.“My team wanted a web application,” she said. “They had the tables and research which they wanted in some form of a user interface, but they gave me the opportunity to design this system myself.”She got to work on several ideas, designing a whole user interface. As she worked on the design, her team joined her to discuss what looked good and what would need additional modifications.“It gave me the opportunity to explore even more options, more ideas, and then they always encouraged me,” she said. “They were open enough to say, ‘Okay, you can do this. We want this, but you decide how you want to do it.’”Multiple Mentors Make Work, Life EasierNicole Elliott, an industrial engineering major, noted a great acclimation period during her internship. She appreciated being assigned multiple mentors, each with a unique purpose. She had a buddy from outside her work area who helped with general knowledge of working at Dell, including general HR information. In addition, she had two mentors specific to her area of work.“Within my project, I had two mentors,” Elliott said. “One was within Internet of Things, within Quality, and another mentor was within Dell Customer Connect, within Quality as well. Both of them were very important and very helpful within my projects, and I like that they both serve different purposes on different sides of the spectrum for my projects.”Elliott was especially excited about Internet of Things, in particular, and how it is evolving at Dell.“You have so much data, and sifting through it and making sure that you’re only analyzing the data that is purely necessary is challenging,” she said. “All in all, this type of industrial revolution of technology is really energizing.”&nbsp;</p><p>Dell supports women in numerous ways, from interns to the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network. Dell salutes all women on International Women’s Day on March 8, 2017.last_img read more

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5 Key Behaviors for a Successful Digital Transformation

first_imgFor the senior IT manager looking to stay ahead of digital transformation trends, the scope of responsibilities have dramatically changed from just a few years ago. For a successful digital transformation, this means taking on new responsibilities in addition to managing traditional roles. In the whitepaper, “The Modern CIO: Digitally Delivering Business Transformation,” I’ve laid out five key areas that contrast the CIO’s traditional responsibilities with corresponding new behaviors that can help you drive effective business transformation.1) Manage total cost of ownership (TCO) AND create value and revenueDecades ago, early digitization projects focused on implementing financial software in order to streamline costs. Lower TCO ever since has been one of the key measurements for IT project success. Flash forward several decades and IT spend in many organizations has now moved outside of the official IT organization. Leading analysts have seen at least 29% of IT spend now taking place outside the IT organization on initiatives that have direct revenue impact.The trend to digitalization has caused IT to change from a cost center to a profit generating business driver. 63% of CIOs today see their key focus now is to make money as opposed to mainly saving money for the company.2)  Manage business processes AND deliver business decisionsBig data and data analytics are key cornerstones to many digital transformation projects. Mobility, Internet of Things, and social media are resulting in an explosion of data. All of this data provides an enormous opportunity for you to gain business insights that can produce greater revenue and profitability through efficient, data driven decision making.Sensus, an energy and utilities business, is an excellent example of this. By creating a data lake they were able to use the Dell EMC PowerEdge 730xd to manage the huge amounts of data they were gathering to make faster decisions on devices they have in the field. They took a process analyzing over 200 terabytes of real-time data, and shortened analysis time to less than a minute. Using IT as a business driver enabled them “to provide faster and more accurate results to the business so that we make really good decisions with real data.”3) Maintain internal IT focus AND increase customer focusSenior IT management still is the point of contact for the internal IT infrastructure, but in this new era you also need timely insights into what your customers care about. In a recent survey, CIOs stated that better engagement with customers was a key priority with 40% of CIOs spending at least one day out of their week outside of IT.Following this trend, Anana, a contact-center organization, used IT to gain closer customer interaction by deploying a cloud solution with a strong social media platform using the Dell EMC PowerEdge FX architecture. Anana offers an excellent example of how to convert customer contact away from telephony and toward social media, web chat, and mobile apps. This can enable you to reduce costs and directly improve your customer’s experience.4) Block external security threats AND internal security exploits As the physical and virtual infrastructures of businesses have blurred, the potential increase for cyber-security breaches has grown exponentially. There was a time when having a strong firewall and updated anti-virus software was considered sufficient to secure valuable business data. This was an outside in approach. With the growth of mobility and IoT, the list of “insiders” for you to worry about has expanded. Once security exploits gain entry, malware can rapidly spread through east/west data center traffic throughout your IT environment.Modern security requires proactive security features built directly into the IT infrastructure. The Dell EMC integrated Dell Remote Access Controller (iDRAC) brings security right into the hardware. It offers an inside out approach from deployment, to repurposing, monitoring, upgrading, and decommissioning. It’s a lifecycle of security built directly into the DNA of the IT infrastructure.5) Utilize customization AND automation An inadequate skillset has been cited as one of the top barriers to digital transformation. Many organizations find it difficult to hire employees with the skills needed, delaying their business transformation goals. As a result, they often turn to expensive third parties to provide time-intensive customization work required for the transformation.Automation offers a key solution to the skills shortage. By deploying automation tools, your skills shortages can be alleviated and time to transformation can be accelerated. Liaocheng University is an example of an organization that completed a digital transformation product by creating a “smart city” solution based on the Dell EMC PowerEdge FX2. They were able to manage their skill shortage by automating application deployment and in the process decreasing deployment time by 85%!Check out the whitepaper for other great examples of how to do big things for your business with digital transformation and Dell EMC PowerEdge server technology.last_img read more

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Managing for Large Scale Growth

first_imgOrganizations that are growing at rates requiring truly large scale infrastructure, in addition to their immediate growth needs, should be seriously considering how the infrastructure they are creating will sustain itself over time. Answering your short term growth pressures without also addressing the need to manage larger and larger infrastructure is not an approach that will have a happy ending.When we designed the DSS 9000 rack scale solution we understood that – because we have more than a decade of deep experience with the leaders in hyperscale computing. Scale comes with its own set of challenges, and foremost among them is management. How do you manage exponentially expanding infrastructure without losing the advantages that scale delivers?The answer is that you need to have an architecture that allows you to easily incorporate and adopt the technologies that are being developed to address the latest challenges in the industry.  Being an open architecture allows the DSS 9000 to benefit from the work being done across the entire industry to more efficiently manage massive data centers.The promise of fully composable infrastructure is management nirvana for large scale environments; it’s the point when all resources – compute, storage, networking, memory – are fully disaggregated across the infrastructure and available to be independently “composed” into whatever infrastructure combinations you need. While the technology has not quite caught up with the dream yet (see the recent blog by Robert Hormuth, CTO of the Dell EMC Infrastructure Solutions Group), the DSS 9000 offers composable elements in its current version and a path to full composability in the future.Manage at the Rack LevelEfficient, open and agile rack management is at the design core of the DSS 9000. Its management foundation is based on the industry accepted Redfish management APIs. The Intel ® Rack Scale Design (RSD) hardware resource manager also uses the Redfish open APIs as its foundation and this allows the DSS 9000 to implement RSD’s Pooled System Management Engine (PSME) APIs and firmware as part of its Rack Manager component to enable the comprehensive inventory of all devices in the rack.  It is this leveraging of open management APIs and software that lets the DSS 9000 provide a single management interface across the rack and consolidate rack-wide operations, for example, to perform firmware updates to all the devices in the rack at once. Imagine the overall reduction in time consumed (and money saved) that this adds up to across massive infrastructure environments.  Redfish compatibility is also what makes it possible to support ancillary third party gear like switches and servers within a DSS 9000 rack, permitting even greater choice and functionality for customers.Dynamically Allocate Resources Across the RackThe disaggregation of resources provided by Redfish and Rack Scale Design are the beginning steps on the path to full composability. Using integration software from Dell EMC and an orchestration tool (i.e., MAAS, OpenStack Fuel) compute and storage resources on the DSS 9000 can be dynamically allocated across the rack as needed. (See the Transforming Management for Modern Scale-Out whitepaper for details.) The ability to allocate and subsequently decommission resources on the fly gives data centers tremendous flexibility in how they choose to run their day-to-day operations. It allows for higher levels of resource utilization and the ability to respond more rapidly to spikes in demand. Deploy Racks at a TimeThe DSS 9000 is delivered as a pre-integrated rack after being built to customers’ specifications. The server and storage sleds that make up the rack, have a wide range of optional components that give customers tremendous flexibility to optimize for their specific workloads. When the racks are delivered it is as simple as rolling them into place, plugging them in and beginning to provision the systems – no additional cabling or integration of the racks. The building-block chassis structure of the DSS 9000 also makes it quick and easy to scale within a rack, by simply sliding in a fully populated chassis.Benefit From Rack Scale DesignThe DSS 9000 design includes a powerful rack management infrastructure. It has a separate Intel® Atom powered Rack Manager component that is connected to each of the block chassis and, in turn, to each individual server. Status and control of servers, power, and cooling are communicated through a gigabit management network that is independent of the data network. This infrastructure enables faster communication and more extensive management functionality for the increasingly complex workloads service providers and carriers now provide. In addition, it permits independent control at the block level for more efficient power and cooling.Transform Large Scale ManagementTo remain competitive as they scale, organizations need to invest in infrastructure with the ability to adopt new technologies quickly, to take advantage of open platforms and to move toward full composability. The DSS 9000 is infrastructure that helps organizations into a more productive and efficient future. See the DSS 9000 Rack Management video for more details and a look at the DSS 9000 in action.last_img read more

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A Letter from Michael Dell: We’re Here to Help

first_imgUpdate April 3, 2020: On a personal note, Susan and I are dedicating $100 million through the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation to support global initiatives related to COVID-19 so more people get the help and support they need during this difficult time. I have shared more detail about that on LinkedIn.To our customers and partners:With the full impact of the COVID-19 virus uncertain, our world feels unsettled. I was with our global team in a virtual town hall this week where we talked a lot about this, and our priorities to keep each other and our communities healthy and safe and take care of our customers’ most critical needs. I thought I’d share some of that conversation with you and update you on the things we are doing, as we reinvent how we work and live during the COVID-19 pandemic.Today, we published a post on our blog to provide you with broad updates on how we are taking precautions, supporting communities, and enabling you to continue your work and personal lives in this evolving environment. We will use the blog to post regular updates as we work through this dynamic situation together.Like you, we are stressing the importance of health and safety with our team, their families and the communities where we live. We must protect each other and especially our most vulnerable – our elderly and those with underlying conditions. Our Environmental Health and Safety team is following closely the advice and guidelines of the World Health Organization, our national centers for disease control and local health authorities. At the same time, we are managing the impact on our own business and supply chain operations, so we can take care of you. Whether enabling a remote workforce, ensuring business continuity, powering the technology for infectious disease prevention and control, or providing simple, human advice, support and friendship – we are here to help.My thanks for what you are doing to protect our world during this difficult time. It is our honor to be your partner. Thank you for the trust you put in us.Michaellast_img read more

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Takeaways from legal filings for Trump’s impeachment trial

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — Legal briefs filed in the impeachment case against former President Donald Trump lay out radically different positions ahead of next week’s Senate trial. There are conflicting interpretations of his responsibility for the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and in the legality of even holding a trial. There’s a debate over the role played by the First Amendment and an assessment by Democrats that the riot threatened the presidential line of succession. Trump’s lawyers say the case is moot since he is no longer in the White House and the Senate therefore doesn’t have jurisdiction to try him, but House impeachment managers say there’s ample precedent.last_img read more

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