Monthly Archives: February 2021

Real-time Actionable Information Sharing

first_imgIn April 18, 1775, Boston and a soon to be fledgling nation faced a certain threat against a massive attack surface originating from thousands of miles away via the sea.  At the onset of the American Revolutionary War, Paul Revere collaborated with volunteers at Boston’s Old North Church to hang either one or two lanterns on the church steeple. Their code communicated to other communities and organizations – in real-time – the attack-vector British troops were using for their approach. This first example of public-private information sharing is immortalized in the famous line of the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem:  “One if by land, and two if by sea.”Then, as now, information sharing is a critical tool in the major threats businesses face. The nature of the cyber threat is different than anything else we’ve ever known or have been able to address in our business and legal systems – so, like Paul Revere, organizations have to think about it differently and craft different solutions. The U.S. Congress is meeting this week to consider a legislative framework for approaching cyber threats. Elected representatives are debating the merits and content of legislation concerning, among many things, information sharing and liability relief. Both of those topics are mission critical in today’s environment to counter threats faced today, and those that will be faced tomorrow.Real-time actionable cyber threat information sharing between and among private and public sectors is needed to address diverse technology and business objectives. Through effective open and robust information sharing, organizations have a better success rate against the effects of malicious actors. Working together we maximize the reach of our cyber workforce in defending the public and private sectors from an ever changing threat environment.We need to accept that current advanced protections don’t work. Furthermore, without evolving the security model – they will continue to not work. We know that point products, signature-based defensive approaches, and even traditional strategies are not enough to address the challenge.  To overcome the threat posed by adversaries we need real-time information sharing across the public and private sectors. And of course, this data must be consumed, understood and acted on by advanced security teams capable of processing it immediately.Information sharing, and the pending legislation, should allow the effective dissemination of near real-time actionable information, hopefully machine readable, that can assist new efforts to defeat malicious actors. We need this information – threat intelligence – because the old strategies of protecting the perimeters don’t work. We need visibility, access, and agility to see what the malicious actors are doing in our networks. Yes – they are in our networks. We need to prevent them from succeeding in their ultimate objectives. Information sharing will assist our ability to quickly detect and respond to these malicious actors and Congressional action should support those operational principles.Today, 240 years after Paul Revere’s midnight ride, society may not be recognizable, but the principles that those American Patriots and Sons of Liberty espoused are visible. The cyber threat highlights one similarity: we, people and organizations around the world, face an existential threat to our way of life that can only be mitigated by a cooperative approach. Private companies, and governments, alone cannot overcome the myriad threats we face – they don’t have the resources or capabilities.  Hopefully, current legislative action will help achieve what is needed to preserve and protect the principles fought for so many years ago.last_img read more

Why is Security Important to OEMs?

first_imgAs more aspects of our lives move online, the potential rewards for cyber criminals get larger, their methods become more sophisticated, and it’s up to the good guys to find new ways to stop them. As the saying goes, there’s no point locking the stable door after the horse has bolted!OEM security is differentMost articles I’ve seen focus on security failures where in-house IT has been compromised but in the case of OEMs, the situation is somewhat different. As an OEM, your appliances will most likely be installed at your end customers’ data center.  You cannot afford for your device to be the weak point, the unlocked door through which hackers gain entry. It’s a bit like minding your own kids versus taking care of your neighbor’s family. Securing your own data assets is one thing but being accountable for your customer’s data is a horse of a different color.Freedom to innovate and flexibility to customizeOf course, Dell EMC OEM appliances offer standard security features you will find with many other suppliers like chassis intrusion detection, signed firmware updates and trusted platform module (TPM) but in my experience, OEM customers need more.They require a hardware platform that gives them the freedom to innovate while providing the flexibility to customize that hardware and make it part of a secure solution. Sounds great but how does this actually work in practice? Rather than talk theoretically, let me share a real-life example.Protecting appliances in the open internetOne of our biggest OEM customers provides their appliances to ISPs. These are exposed to the open internet — they don’t sit safe behind firewalls — and so they’re more exposed than pretty much any device you’ll come across. Understandably, this customer has a healthy level of paranoia about the level of inherent security of its devices, which is one reason it chooses Dell EMC OEM PowerEdge servers, powered by Intel Xeon processors.The customer uses our OEM Identity Module to configure a raft of security settings that lock its devices down from top to bottom. To explain, the Dell EMC OEM Identity Module sits outside the server’s operating system and stores personalized settings like custom splash screens, but also lets you blacklist bootable device categories, prevent malicious code injections, and disable server management features that you either don’t want to use, or which could represent a security risk. This means nobody can walk up to your appliance, insert a USB stick, and run a rootkit virus, for example.Configuration optionsIn short, rather than a house with all the doors and windows open, we’re talking about a house with all the doors and windows locked, and an easy way for you to configure which ones you open and who you let in.With Dell EMC OEM Identity Module, you can also configure it so that if, for whatever reason, someone decides to reset the BIOS on your device using the jumper plug, it will reset to your factory settings, not Dell EMC’s. Our OEM Identity Module payload is signed, meaning you can trust that there won’t be malicious code injections in your customizations.Security should never be a barrier to innovationThis all sounds great from a security perspective, but doesn’t adding layers of security also add complexity, effort, and cost to developing an appliance?  The answer is an empathic no. My mantra is that while security is all-important, it should never be a barrier to invention.Time-saving and secureUsing Dell EMC OEM Identity Module actually saves customers time, because it offers a canned interface to apply settings. With other vendors, you’d typically need to write a custom BIOS. This means that whenever the BIOS gets updated, your custom code would need to be posted to the new version.The nice thing about our approach is that the Dell EMC OEM Identity Module sits outside the BIOS and goes on working as firmware updates are applied, meaning quicker time to market, more availability once deployed, and more secure end customers. Music to your ears, right?All these features come courtesy of our dedicated security teams who are an integral part of the product development process. The bottom line is that security can no longer be thought of as an add-on, but rather as integral to the development and design process.We take your security very seriously. I’d love to hear your comments and answer your questions. Please join our LinkedIn OEM Showcase page to connect, and be sure to join us at Dell EMC World, May 8-11 2017 in Las Vegas.last_img read more

Will Your Company Be Around Next Year?

first_imgAsking such a question may seem provocative but it reflects the reality of what’s happening on the ground. Did you know that about half of the companies listed on the Fortune 500 in the year 2000 have subsequently fallen off the list [i] (and many of those no longer exist)? Just think about how iconic brands like Blockbuster, Eastman Kodak, and Borders have quietly vanished while newcomers like Facebook, Uber and Airbnb have burst onto the market with brand new business models.Of course, some long-established companies like John Deere have also embraced digital transformation with the company deciding it could no longer differentiate itself by having the biggest, fastest tractors. Instead, it adopted a strategy of providing the smartest, most productive equipment to farmers. Deere’s new value proposition is all about process optimization – reduced costs, increased yield and increased sustainability through data-centric technologies and improved information flow.Digital disruption or opportunity? Looking ahead, IDC predicts that 33% of industry leaders will be disrupted by digital transformation before the end of 2018.[ii] The good news is that you can take action now to position your company for the future! In fact, according to a MIT Sloan Management review report[iii], companies that successfully manage their own digital transformation not only avoid disruption, but are 26% more profitable than their industry peers.Survival of the fittestSure, change is challenging but change also brings huge opportunity and none of us can afford to become complacent. We all need to be actively exploring how technology can transform our industries and give us a competitive edge. It really is the survival of the fittest. The challenge is that according to an Accenture study[iv], only 30% of executives are very satisfied with their ability to convert ideas into market-ready products or services. This is where smart partnerships can add value and help you get your products to market faster.For example, our Dell EMC OEM team partners with organizations – from start-up companies to established global leaders – to help bring their intellectual property and solutions powered by that IP to market. Think of it as a smart division of labor, a partnership where we both focus on our core expertise – you on your company and generating new ideas while we help co-design a customized solution for your business needs, modify the appropriate Dell EMC technologies to optimally run your solution, certify it to industry standards or regulatory requirements, and build and deliver it with the reassurance of our award-winning global support. It’s all about making your digital transformation journey easier.“People power”At our recent annual showcase event, Dell EMC World, we launched a slew of innovative products, designed to enable companies on their transformation journey. While there was lots of amazing technology on display that wowed the attendees, the thing that still struck me most was “people power” – the human capacity to create, invent, innovate, make better. And this people power is exponential when we combine our customers’ knowledge of their markets and solutions, with our technology and supply chain expertise.We work with a huge range of OEM customers who are doing incredible things with positive impacts not just economically, but also socially. I had the pleasure of meeting many of our customers during the show and they truly are an inspirational group – they combine their IP with our technology to help launch rockets, treat cancer, measure and improve crop growth, help reduce power consumption and keep food fresh in transit before it hits the supermarket fridge. You name the incredible mission – we have a customer that’s making it a reality!And so, I was thrilled to see VDC recognize that partnership recently when it announced that Dell EMC OEM is now the number one worldwide OEM provider[v]. Our customers made this happen and we’re hugely grateful for their support over the years. Thank you! I promise that we won’t become complacent but will continue to work hard, every day to retain your trust.Going back to the first question posed, only you can decide if it will be digital disruption or opportunity for your business but if you’re looking for ways to innovate and achieve the unique mission of your industry, we’re here to help! I’d love to hear your questions and comments.MoreLearn more about Dell EMC OEMWatch a replay of the General Session from Dell EMC World 2017Plan ahead. Register now for Dell EMC World 2018Keep in touch. Follow @DellOEM on Twitter, and join our LinkedIn OEM Showcase page here. [i] World Economic Forum, Davos, Jan 2016[ii]  IDC: IoT and Digital Transformation, March 2016[iii]  MIT Sloan Management Review Research Report, 2012[iv] Accenture: Faster, Fitter, Better , 2017[v] OEM Global Share based on 2016 Dollar Volume Shipments, VDC Researchlast_img read more

Tackling the Needs of Your Office-Based Customers

first_imgAs workplaces have evolved, so have the workforces that use them. Several distinct worker personas have emerged, each with its own demands for specific hardware, software and services. We think it’s time your customers knew more about them.By understanding these personas, your sales team can quickly identify the types of people your customers employ, what their needs are, and what technology is right for them. Dell EMC has identified two personas in the office: desk-centric workers and “corridor warriors”. Let’s check out what offerings from the Dell Technologies portfolio suit their working needs.Desk-Centric UsersDesk-centric employees predominantly use a desktop PC because they perform specific roles and need a fixed environment for functional, security, or compliance reasons.Our technologies provide a comprehensive desk-centric user experience. Take the Dell OptiPlex, for example. It’s a desk-based system using Microsoft Windows 10 Pro with a choice of form factors and mounting options to personalise a workspace. Alternatively, Dell Wyse terminals can provide the end-point for a complete thin client solution. Along with, Dell VDI Complete, which brings together the front- and back-end infrastructure to create a fully validated desktop-virtualization bundle, organizations can rapidly deploy desktop virtualization much quicker than ever before.For a real-world example of how one of our customers supports its desk-centric users, read Meituan-Dianping’s case study. This Shanghai group-buying deals company turned to Dell EMC for hardware provisioning and saw a boost in IT productivityCorridor WarriorsClient devices are critical in helping corridor warriors receive the best possible experience. They’re rarely in one place for long. They pound the office floors, flitting from meetings to brainstorming sessions and using every available collaboration space.To meet their needs, we recommend the Dell Latitude 7000 Series 2-in-1, a Windows 10 Pro notebook that doubles as a tablet – perfect for those who are on the move. In addition, ProDeploy Plus enables fast deployment with preconfigured collaboration software —such as Microsoft SharePoint and the cloud-based Office 365.The widespread move of IT services to the cloud suits this persona perfectly. Our servers are built to work seamlessly with the Microsoft Azure stack so when these mobile users are working, they receive the same secure software environment continuously.A real-life story of corridor warriors in action is The Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), which employs over 1,100 researchers working across eight sites, and each with two workspaces on average. Read our case study to understand how the largest non-university research institute in Austria matched its workers with the right Dell EMC technology.Our ApproachTechnology has a huge potential to help organizations transform their workplaces, and by extension, transform their people’s working lives. We believe that approaching workers as personas is a critical part of workplace transformation, providing personalized products for how employees work today and in the future.We’ll take care of the solutions, so you can take care of your customers.Read the Desk-Centric Users and Corridor Warriors guides, as well as others, here.We’ve also created related emails here, on our new Digital Marketing Platform so that your marketing teams can quickly get these guides into the hands of your customers. The guides explain how to maximize the productivity of their employees through the right choices from our end-to-end portfolio.If you don’t have access to the Digital Marketing Platform, please register here.last_img read more

Snap Decision: How Digital Transformation Helps Us Get There First

first_imgWe are engaged in a war of algorithms; a battle fought in cyber space that also plays out across air, land, and sea every day. Digital transformation is the key to winning because it gives us a critical advantage: the ability to execute before the adversary can.This “decision advantage” comes, in part, from embedding technology into the mission at the service of the warfighter. Technology transformation at the kinetic level, for example, makes efforts at the tip of the spear more successful. Imagine real-time AI-processed reconnaissance information optimizing ordinance activity on-target. Or turning our ships at sea into floating data centers: optimizing communication, battlefield insights, ship defenses, onboard maintenance, and medical care for our wounded warriors.Today, across the department and in all branches of the U.S. military, IT leaders are looking for solutions to turn their legacy IT footprint into a modern multi-cloud environment.  This transformation will also bring sweeping changes to our workforce.  Tomorrow’s pilot will need to be as good at multi-mode IT systems management as actually flying an aircraft.Technology transformation with the Department of Defense (DoD) means looking at where computer activity needs to take place. This could include activity in a data center, or on a sensor, drone, mobile device, aircraft, and even an office-based workstation. Where this processing activity, called a ‘workload’ takes place should be optimized for the mission – and not optimized for the convenience of the IT purchasing process. Mission-optimized IT includes Domestic DOD-managed cloud environments and data centers, ad hoc IT networks in forward operating positions with disadvantaged communication, or on the battlefield itself.In support of this transformation, a multi-cloud approach allows the military to deploy infrastructure that is secure and flexible for mission-critical projects. One such example is a recent Defense Department effort to build out a secure, on-premise cloud solution within its existing data center footprint. Outdated and unsupported legacy IT systems were eating up already-scarce funding and leaving our warfighters and their mission exposed to the adversary.Dell EMC is honored to have partnered with DoD in this effort, known as the On-Site Managed Services (OMS) program. It provides high-availability, high-performance, mission-critical compute services. This cutting-edge IT transformation program allows the DoD to manage their most sensitive workloads and provide compute and processing wherever the mission requires.OMS illustrates the point that mission success is all about operation and accessibility, requiring different approaches for each unique workload. With a complex map of challenges and mission-critical considerations, the DoD must continue to approach cloud on a workload-by-workload basis for IT modernization success, appreciating cloud as an operating model.If you want to learn more about how OMS can drive DoD IT transformation, visit: https://www.smartronix.com/services/Cloud-Computing/Pages/On-Site-Managed-Services-(OMS).htmllast_img read more

Oklahoma seeking to return $2M worth of hydroxychloroquine

first_imgOKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma is attempting to return $2 million worth of hydroxychloroquine. The malaria drug was once touted by then-President Donald Trump as an effective treatment for the coronavirus. A spokesman for Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter confirmed Wednesday that Hunter is attempting to negotiate the return of the drug. Oklahoma acquired 1.2 million pills in April from California-based FFF Enterprises. A company spokeswoman didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment. Oklahoma and Utah both secured doses of the drug from private pharmaceutical companies. Utah managed to secure a refund of the $800,000 it spent to purchase 20,000 packets of hydroxychloroquine compounded with zinc.last_img

A test for Trumpism: Virginia Republicans seek new playbook

first_imgRICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The national Republican Party is at war with itself, struggling to reconcile a bitter divide between former President Donald Trump’s fierce loyalists and those who want Trumpism purged from their party. The GOP need only look across the Potomac River into Virginia to see the dangers that lurk if it cannot correct course. In just nine months, Virginia voters will elect a new governor in what marks the first significant test of the Republican Party’s strength in the post-Trump era. And in a Southern state that had a Republican governor as recently as 2014, Virginia’s 2021 Republican field is facing the prospect of a political disaster.last_img