ANALYSIS Offsetting Asymmetry With Automation


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In the security world, there is a truism that defense (protecting systems) is harder than offense (breaking into systems) because it’s an asymmetric playing field. The bad guys need only find one path into an environment — one place where everything hasn’t been done exactly “just so” and perfectly — while those charged with securing that environment need to protect against intrusions everywhere they have a technology footprint.

It doesn’t stop there — the asymmetry is apparent in other respects as well. For example, a large percentage (if not all) of a company’s staff members go home at night. They may not watch the environment as closely on the weekends or on holidays. Attackers, on the other hand, can operate from wherever, whenever (be it 5 p.m. on Friday or 2 a.m. on New Year’s Eve), and they can target any place in an environment or even multiple places as once.

There are situations that compound this effect. For one, there is a skills gap among security professionals, data suggests. For example, 55 percent of the organizations responding to a recent survey said that it took them at least three months to fill open security positions, according to ISACA’s State of Cybersecurity 2017 report.

For 32 percent of enterprises, it took six months or more. Likewise, 37 percent of those surveyed said that fewer than one in four candidates had appropriate qualifications for the positions they wanted to fill.

The point is, there’s an unevenness about security — as a discipline — that makes it asymmetric and therefore difficult to do well and consistently. This unevenness is compounded by challenges in acquiring staff and acquiring tools, and the fact that the threat landscape is evolving constantly.

This in turn means that organizations — and the security and assurance practitioners that support them — need to up their game in terms of how they approach security if they intend to level the playing field. It means, in short, that they need to automate.

Why Automation?

One strategy that organizations can use to help offset some of the inherent asymmetry in keeping technology secured is to make extensive use of automation to support security practices.

Why automation? There are a few reasons. First, there is the obvious one. To the extent that you can automate a task, you can “cheat the resource curve.” That means if you’ve automated a task, you don’t need boots on the…

Grab nabs Paytm engineering head to be new payments CTO

GrabPay CTO Vikas Agrawal. Photo credit: Grab.

Grab has appointed Vikas Agrawal as chief technology officer (CTO) of its mobile payments unit GrabPay. His arrival is the latest in a string of hires and acquisitions that the company has made as it moves beyond ride-hailing to build its credentials as a payments platform.

Agrawal was previously a senior vice president at Indian digital payments firm Paytm, where he led a team of 200 engineers. Prior to joining Paytm in February 2016, he was co-founder and CTO at ecommerce startup Fashionara.

He will be based in Bangalore, where Grab has a research and development facility.

Grab group CTO Theo Vassilakis highlighted Agrawal’s tech leadership at Paytm at a time when India has been attempting to reduce its reliance on cash.

“Vikas has steered some of the world’s largest epayments platforms through rapid growth, including during the critical time of 2016’s demonetization of higher value banknotes in India,” he said. “We believe Southeast Asia…

Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. (CTO) Given a $80.00 Price Target at B. Riley

B. Riley set a $80.00 price target on Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. (NYSEAMERICAN:CTO) in a report released on Monday, November 13th. The brokerage currently has a buy rating on the financial services provider’s stock.

Several other equities analysts also recently commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Consolidated-Tomoka Land from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, November 10th. BidaskClub downgraded Consolidated-Tomoka Land from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, FBR & Co restated a buy rating on shares of Consolidated-Tomoka Land in a research report on Thursday, October 19th.

Shares of Consolidated-Tomoka Land (NYSEAMERICAN CTO) traded down $0.15 on Monday, hitting $60.50. The company had a trading volume of 4,130 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,618. Consolidated-Tomoka Land has a one year low of $49.73 and a one year high of $61.70.

Consolidated-Tomoka Land (NYSEAMERICAN:CTO) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 18th. The financial services provider reported…

Patients Commonly Get High Radiation Doses During CTO PCI

Certain clinical and angiographic factors should serve as a reminder to pay more attention to radiation protection, investigators say.

Patients Commonly Get High Radiation Doses During CTO PCI

ANAHEIM, CA—Even in the hands of experienced operators, PCI of a chronic total occlusion (CTO) often results in patients receiving high doses of radiation, a registry study shows.

Across multiple centers, 23% of patients who underwent CTO PCI received a high dose (greater than 5 Gy), Judit Karacsonyi, MD (VA North Texas Healthcare System and UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas), reported recently at the American Heart Association 2017 Scientific Sessions here.

She and her colleagues identified several clinical and angiographic factors that could help identify patients most at risk for receiving excess radiation, including higher body mass index, prior CABG, moderate/severe calcification, proximal cap ambiguity, and longer occlusion length.

“If we find patients who have these, we can predict that the patient is going to receive a higher dose so we can pay even more attention to radiation protection,” Karacsonyi told TCTMD. Efforts to enhance protection might include changes to fluoroscopy settings and use of various types of shielding for patients and operators, she said.

Concerns about radiation exposure should not discourage operators from performing CTO PCI when there is a clinical need for the procedure, Karacsonyi added. “Radiation protection is critical and really important, and we shouldn’t be afraid of this,” she said.

Substantial Variation Across Centers

ANALYST CORNER Which Is Best for You: iPhone 8, iPhone X or Galaxy S8?


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Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android operating system hit the marketplace one decade ago. Ten years later, there’s still plenty of debate over which is better. I’ve lately been asked which of three new flagship phones is better: Apple’s iPhone 8, its iPhone X, or Samsung’s new Galaxy S8, which runs Google Android?

Smartphones have gone through some remarkable changes over the years. How do you determine which is best for you today?

First, these are all excellent smartphones that have redefined leadership in the sector. They have improved over the last decade. However, there are real differences.

In fact, there are significant differences between the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. Until the iPhone X finally became available last week, iPhone 8 sales were very slow. Now that users can compare, I expect sales of both models to pick up steam.

Many users who waited for the iPhone X have found the new design harder to use and less satisfying. The camera is better, but many miss the familiar Home button. To some, the new iPhone looks and feels like a Samsung Galaxy phone, and they don’t like that.

The iPhone 8 may be more appealing to those customers. As for the Home button, though, Apple has been messing with it for the last year or two — the iPhone 7 and 8 have different Home buttons. What’s available now is not really a button. Many users prefer the feel of the old time, real button. However, they have no way to get it on newer devices.

This is an instance of Apple pushing users outside their comfort zone, which is something many dislike.

iPhone X: Love It or Hate It

Even those who find themselves confused by the new iPhone X design will become used to it in time and possibly even come to like it. The real question is, why did Apple find it necessary to frustrate the user base and mess with its already-winning design? Change for change’s sake is not always a winning philosophy among users.

Smartphones are far more advanced today, as they quickly have become the most important tool…

Kevin Lupowitz joins trueEX as CTO

Source: trueEX

trueEX, the fastest-growing interest-rate swap execution platform, has hired Kevin Lupowitz as Chief Technology Officer.

Lupowitz has held pioneering roles at several successful electronic trading firms and joins trueEX at a time of rapid platform growth, with notional trading activity up by 542% year-to-date versus 2016.
With its share of the dealer-to-client swaps market now over 30%, up from 9% in 2016, trueEX is looking to expand its execution services from interest rate swaps to encompass the broader Rates market. Lupowitz will oversee this initiative to ensure the platform continues to lead the industry in terms of technical specifications, functionality and performance.

Lupowitz was a founding employee and Chief Information Officer at Liquidnet, the global institutional trading network, where he…

E-Commerce Provides Fertile Ground for B2B Growth


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Business-to-business firms view increased online activity as an effective way to boost their growth, according to a new report from CloudCraze.

Eighty-nine percent of the 400-plus B2B decision makers CloudCraze surveyed in the United States and Europe expected digital commerce would help their businesses grow.

Other findings:

  • Forty-eight percent already offered their full line of products online;
  • Eighty-eight percent expected to sell products primarily online in the next five years;
  • Fifty-six percent believed the greatest value of digital commerce was customer retention; and
  • Fifty-four percent said the major value of digital commerce was customer acquisition.

“The stats are within range,” said Ray Wang, principal analyst at Constellation Research.

“Constellation forecasts that by 2020, online B2B sales will account for about 65 percent of the total, averaged out between North America and [Europe, the Middle East and Africa],” he told the E-Commerce Times.

Learning from B2C Companies

“It behooves all B2B companies to take a page from the B2C playbook and make it easier for customers to buy — if they wish — without human interaction,” suggested Rebecca Wettemann, VP of research at Nucleus Research.

New tools have been emerging to enable B2B firms make the transition, such as a fully configurable white label mobile app from InsiteCommerce.

“Customer expectations are higher now,” noted Cindy Zhou, a principal analyst at Constellation Research.

“Every B2B buyer is also a consumer in their personal life. They expect the ease of use for product automation and shopping to be similar,” she…

Virtues of Island Living Promoted by CTO at Canada Event

News Feature Regional and International News

TORONTO, Canada– The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has declared 2018 the Year of Wellness and Rejuvenation in the Caribbean, stressing the physical and mental virtues of island living.

The CTO’s secretary general Hugh Riley announced the theme for next year at a news conference as part of the programme for Caribbean Week Canada 2017.

With wellness and rejuvenation being important aspects of the Caribbean tourism product offering, the CTO is encouraging member countries and private sector partners to plan and organize events and activities around the theme that will appeal to consumers, travel agents and tour operators.

“For those who focus on renewing body and spirit, the options are virtually endless; from beachfront workouts and yoga retreats, to wellness resorts and spa treatments, the notion of being rejuvenated in the Caribbean is one more reason to let us pamper you in 2018,” the secretary general said.

“The region’s diverse tropical landscape with mountain…

Vodafone CTO: 5G Is Overhyped & It’s Mainly About Cost

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LONDON — Global Mobile Broadband Forum 2017 — Vodafone’s chief technology officer has downplayed expectations that 5G will quickly lead to new business opportunities for telcos and said the next-generation mobile technology is largely about cost efficiencies.

Speaking at a mobile broadband conference hosted by Chinese equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in London, Johan Wibergh warned the industry against initially “overhyping” 5G and said it would benefit operators in the first two years of rollout mainly by helping them to slash operating expenditure when providing mobile broadband services.

“The increased efficiency that you get from massive MIMO and radio that can handle up to 100 megahertz means 5G is about ten times more cost efficient than 4G,” he told conference attendees during a morning keynote session. “We should be talking more about this because at first it will be about mobile broadband, and cost is a challenge with growing data volumes.”

Cheerleaders for the standard have argued that 5G will support a range of exciting new applications, including robots and self-driving cars. But some investors and analysts remain skeptical that it will lead to an increase in service revenues for the operators introducing the standard.

“There is little to support the idea that enhancing networks with 5G will increase revenues,” says Bengt Nordström, the managing director of the Northstream consulting group, pointing out that telco revenues in western Europe have been declining since 2008 despite the rollout of higher-speed technologies.

“For me 5G is about efficiency,” adds Nordström. “It is a tool to become even more streamlined and maintain margins in a market that will probably continue to decline.”

Acknowledging there was skepticism about 5G in the investor…

IT ‘will be gone by 2030’, says CA CTO Otto Berkes

The business technology landscape is changing so fast that IT will have been completely eradicated in less than 15 years, CA’s chief technology officer has claimed.

Speaking at CA World 2017, CTO Otto Berkes told attendees that the accelerating pace of change within the tech sector is fundamentally changing the nature of how businesses consume technology and tools.

“I believe that by 2030, what we’ve come to know as ‘IT’ today will be gone,” he claimed, “or will be virtually unrecognizable.”

Businesses are currently in the midst of a struggle between entrenched ideals and culture, and rapidly-evolving technology and workflows, he said. Increasing end-user engagement and the democratisation of access to tools has flipped the process of IT decision-making from a prescriptive, management-led approach to a ‘bottoms-up’…