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  • Reinsurance giant General Re replaces fragmented legacy systems with a single data platform in order to standardize and globalize crucial data and processes.

  • The meteoric growth of cyber-extortion as a prominent threat faced by enterprises has raised a new ethical conundrum for information security executives: to negotiate or not to negotiate? As extortionists have become more creative and precise in their theft and ransoming of valuable business data, what was once unthinkable—negotiating with criminals—has increasingly become standard practice. In fact, it's so standard that nearly one-third of security professionals surveyed are willing to play ball with cyber-criminals in order to get valuable data back. Such is the stand-out finding of a recent survey conducted by threat prevention software vendor ThreatTrack Security. "A surprising number of security pros would concede to cyber-criminal demands to avoid the consequences of data compromise, loss or misappropriation," said Stuart Itkin, ThreatTrack senior vice president. By re-evaluating their security strategies to ensure rapid detection and elimination of threats, as well as the ability to restore encrypted data, Itkin said that enterprises "will neutralize the incentives that are driving cyber-crime extortion and help ensure security professionals will not have to face this difficult choice."

  • The majority of technology professionals say they're increasingly aligning to their organization's business goals, according to a recent survey from PMG. The resulting "2015 PMG Benchmark IT and the UX" study indicates that business leaders are starting to understand IT's objectives. Meanwhile, the technology organization is taking a proactive role in improving the user experience (UX), in part by conducting employee surveys and observing how users work with apps. "Investing in and deploying easy-to-use technology is not only beneficial to the user, it's ultimately valuable to IT," says Joe LeCompte, principal of PMG. "When business users feel empowered, IT suddenly has more time to focus on strategic objectives that enhance the organization as a whole. This positions IT to become more of a collaborative partner." There's still plenty of room to grow in that area, however, as IT employees say they're still more often perceived as service providers rather than strategic partners. Nearly 250 North American IT professionals took part in the research.

  • A growing array of digital processes and technologies are ratcheting up the risks for organizations. No longer are threats limited to basic malware, hacking and network intrusions. Increasingly sophisticated attacks—along with newer and more insidious social engineering methods—are challenging many CIOs, CSOs, CISOs and other executives. "Trends in IT Security," a new survey and report from industry association CompTIA, sheds light on how complex the security space has become, and how organizations and business leaders are responding to these challenges. Among other things, the survey of 400 companies in the United States found that perceptions and actual risks are sometimes out of sync; there's a need to shift priorities to new and different vectors and threats; and training methods need to change. Ultimately, organizations must employ newer and better methods for understanding and defending against security risks. This includes data loss prevention (DLP), identity and access management (IAM), and security information and event management (SIEM).

  • The federal agency modernizes its logistics management system and achieves cost savings exceeding $319 million, while eliminating more than 25 archaic systems.

  • Greater connectivity and more powerful digital technologies represent a double-edged sword for organizations across every sector. While they introduce remarkable opportunities, these technologies also create new and sometimes great risks. A recently released research report from the Information Security Forum (ISF), "Threat Horizon 2017: Dangers Accelerate," offers insights into the changing threat landscape and how organizations can manage this dynamic environment. The organization, a leading authority on cyber-threats and cyber-security, found that the dangers revolve around nine areas that represent big challenges for senior business and IT managers, information security professionals and other key organizational stakeholders. In fact, these emerging threats could reshape and reframe the business environment over the next few years. "The pace and scale of information security threats continues to accelerate," warns ISF Managing Director Steve Durbin. "The nine threats highlighted in the 'Threat Horizon 2017' report expose the imminent dangers that the ISF considers the most prominent. They have the capacity to transmit their impact through cyber-space at breakneck speeds, particularly as the use of the Internet spreads. Organizations that are informed and prepared for change will go a long way to securing their future."

  • To increase the efficacy of your security operations center, you need solutions that can do the heavy lifting by automating event investigation and remediation.

  • Organizations are increasingly turning to an internal, or private, cloud to run their data center operations, while de-emphasizing their use of public clouds, according to a recent survey from the Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA). The accompanying "Cloud Adoption Survey" report reveals that while reservations about cloud deployment are generally declining, concerns about security and vendor lock-in still present the greatest barriers to adoption. At the same time, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of companies seeking to use software-defined networking models to direct purchasing decisions. Organizations "are focused primarily on internal cloud solutions," according to the report. "Among members, most have implemented or are soon implementing all of the core features of a cloud deployment. Perhaps most notable is the evidence that members are increasingly interested in … software-defined networking and hybrid cloud solutions." The ODCA is an independent IT consortium of global IT leaders that works to provide a unified customer vision for long-term data center requirements. More than 100 ODCA members took part in the research.

  • Algorithms can now identify disgruntled employees by predicting when they will cause problems, create scandals, harm the company's reputation or break the law.  

  • If you want to do well with big data and analytics, you have to look at how and why enterprises have succeeded with BDA programs and how and why they've failed.

  • The health care and life sciences industry is undergoing radical change as a result of technology. Not only are the organizations that are competing in this space upgrading and updating IT systems to better match today's requirements, they're also unleashing a spate of new technologies that will likely revolutionize medicine. A recently released report from Accenture Life Sciences, "Capturing the $100 billion opportunity for Life Sciences: Are you a digital transformer or follower?", estimates that digital disruption has the potential to unlock more than $100 billion in commercial value over a five-year span. More importantly, the consulting firm says that it's not a question of whether value will be created, but rather who will capture market share and profits. While opportunities abound, the beneficiaries may come from nontraditional sources, including consumer products providers, technology firms and communications companies. Success depends on a number of key factors and what it takes to become a digital transformer. "Digital transformers in life sciences recognize that the days of slow and steady evolution in the industry are over," the report states. "Many industries that once measured change in decades now experience digital disruptions that shift the landscape over a period of a few years, or even faster." Here's a look at what to expect in this dynamic industry.

  • A significant share of IT and business decision-makers are turning to custom software applications to meet their business needs, according to a recent survey conducted by Forrester Consulting for Thoughtworks. The accompanying report, "Driving Innovation Using the Right Skills: The Value of Custom Software Development," indicates that these leaders are looking for more than just development skills in a custom software provider. They seek a strategic partner that can help transform their organization. For example, many consider a proven track record with agile development essential. When organizations find the right provider, they're usually willing to pay a premium for the apps—in some cases, more than 20 percent. "Business and IT leaders are under pressure to deliver a continuous stream of standout digital experiences," says Craig Gorsline, president and chief operating officer at ThoughtWorks. "In this environment, it's imperative that technology [be] at the core of the business strategy. The path to digital success is complex and requires a new approach—one that is iterative and adaptive, spanning multiple levels of the organization and providing quick time to value." A total of 200 global IT and business decision-makers at companies that at least partially outsource custom software development took part in the research.