I just returned from a week in Israel, which always seems to me to be Ground Zero for CyberSecurity.
Here are some of the takeaways I came back with from my visit:
a) Life goes on ? and the security community continues to innovate
I attended and spoke at one of the major Israel cyber-tech events of the year at Tel Aviv University (see www.sectech.tau.ac.il). You would never know this community had just emerged from a two month long onslaught of Hamas Missile attacks. I realize it?s an entirely different discussion on the political ramifications and issues but from a tech perspective, the resiliency had at least something to do with Iron Dome and the fact that the community didn?t take too many physical hits.
I was fortunate to spend a half hour with the founder of the Iron Dome project, Danny Gold, who described this three year development effort that started after his 2004 idea and difficult yet persistent efforts with the Israeli Ministry of Defense to raise the requisite funds. His contract was finally signed in one lucky week in 2007 and was followed by an intense three year development effort of a project team of 300-400 staff that worked 24/7 and had no other life until they finished the job. The interdisciplinary team was composed of engineers in multiple disciplines, including; software, cybersecurity, mechanical engineering, chemistry, metal logistics, genetic algorithms, aeronautics, neuroscience and more.
The most interesting panel I listened to at the conference was about ?hacking the brain? and reading and influencing people?s thoughts. A panel of SMEs involved in this subject concluded that these capabilities would have the most impact on fraud ? by enhancing fraudsters? cognitive abilities, ability to grow limbs and body parts and sequence DNA. Great, just what we need!
b) CyberTerror is alive and well
Maybe I?m naïve, but I was surprised to learn how active cyberterrorists are in attacking Israel?s crticial infrastructure. I?m not sure who backs these cyberterrorists and who writes their code, but some are technically sophisticated enough to create a real nuisance and damaging malware that must be dealt with. These players are not nation states like Iran or Syria, nor are they cybercriminals from Russia out to steal money, hactivists out to make political statements through service disruptions, or Chinese cyberspies out to steal intellectual property. They are their own category ? i.e. terrorists using cyberwar techniques to disable civilian operations. I would imagine these terrorists don?t limit their targets to Israel. I just haven?t yet heard about them operating anywhere else.
c) Insiders continue to be some of our worst enemies
I met with a vendor that services most of the largest wireless telcos in the world. This provider has its own security research division that goes into the Dark Web via TOR to look for threats against their clients. What do they find? Lots of customer data and other company secrets (e.g. how to hack a PBX switch or which codes to use for free phone service) for sale on multiple Dark Web forums. And who were they purveyors of such goods? The carriers? employees themselves. I know this may not sound like news to some of us but I was floored to learn of the extent of this activity.
d) Paranoia about Google and Facebook
OK, paranoia may be an extreme term here but Israel takes these companies seriously when it comes to their users? abilities to affect national security. A former Israeli government official told me about an academic study (that many others know about) in which a control group of about 700,000 Facebook or Google users were influenced via various messages that influenced users? behavior in predictable ways. The concern is that only the U.S. government presumably has legal access and influence over these mega U.S. based companies and is therefore at a great advantage from a national security standpoint. (I realize this is a very contentious area).
e) People People People
We all know that people are the weakest link in any security program but I heard a lot more about good old fashioned people screening in Israel than I have heard in any discussions with security folks in other countries. Israelis put a tremendous amount of effort into perpetual screening of their employees and partners etc. and take a risk based approach whereby those with greater privileges are screened more deeply and more often. I realize other countries and players may find such screening offensive to civil rights but it makes perfect security sense to me.
f) Parting thoughts
After speaking at a CISO forum, one of the attendees and I had a good chat afterwards and he summed up good security practices in three bullet points that I will definitely remember:
1. Forget about prevention and focus on rapid detection and containment. Criminals can easily see, figure out and therefore beat the prevention methods we put out there so why waste time on those?
2. Constantly change your environment. The hackers can only succeed if they know how your environment works. If you keep changing it, they can?t penetrate and perpetrate their crimes.
3. Focus on the people. Raise security awareness among employees and make sure you really know who is on your team and in your virtual circles.
Well informed practical advice coming from a practitioner who’s been through more real-world security training than most folks I run into.
In order to assist our vendor clients we often do strategy days, these are typically full or half days where I work with clients to help them craft strategy, go to market, or other consultative help we cannot accomplish during our 30 to 60 minute inquiry phone calls. Our vendor clients find these very helpful, hence we have a good amount of demand for these sessions. The problem is when analyst resources are tied up for extended amount of times it causes longer wait times for phone calls due to travel and other requirements.
Creating Magic Quadrants is a very lengthy process, which consumes a lot of analyst and vendor resource and time. We regularly include vendors who are not clients in our Magic Quadrants and research, and we provide the same level of analyst access to non-clients as clients during Magic Quadrant processes. Additionally we do not discuss Magic Quadrants with clients or non-clients once they are in process, aside from during specific conversations which are focused on the Magic Quadrant.
The way we handle vendor interactions during Magic Quadrant development is just one example of Gartner maintaining independence. Gartner analysts also don?t deliver white papers, or other vendor sponsored research notes, and analysts are also not compensated or otherwise tied to the sale of our products or consulting. These are reasons why Gartner is differentiated and how we avoid our bias.
Avoiding bias is critical for us to deliver the best product possible, this is always the case. This can prevent analysts from doing SAS with vendors in a specific Magic Quadrant during authoring.
I always strive to be transparent, and thought this would be good to share with the public and those I enjoy helping build the best technology and make the right decisions.
9/22/14: A few edits as requested by David Black, who’s a VP in the Content and Methodologies area. Expect more news around this in the coming weeks from Gartner across the company.
The countdown to Gartner Symposium is on! So for each day over the next month in this space you will see a countdown of my favorite ways actual organizations are transforming business processes and inventing new business models and offerings using available information assets, big data and analytics. Don’t just be impressed, be inspired! How can you adapt and adopt these ideas for your own business?
#16 Since we’re three weeks into the 16 game regular season schedule, let’s feature how the NFL goes about optimally scheduling all these games:
Return again tomorrow for another real world example of the art of the possible with information.
Follow me on Twitter @doug_laney and learn more about Gartner’s Information Innovation research initiative. And if you would like your company’s or customer’s innovative use of information featured in our library of hundreds of examples, contact me via twitter.
For the past few months, I’ve been Gartner’s Vendor Lead for Microsoft. For some 30 vendors, we assign a single analyst to act as a focal point for coordinating across the 1000 analysts we have when research covers that vendor.
In Microsoft’s case, that has proven to be fascinating – we have some 3 dozen Magic Quadrants alone that have been published about their offerings in the last 15 months or so. As Vendor Lead, I’m a mandatory peer reviewer for those and other documents. For my own edification, I decide to map the Magic Quadrants that feature Microsoft onto a quadrant that shows where Microsoft appears in that piece of research. The results are intriguing.
Microsoft has a sizable number of Leader offerings, but many in the Challenger quadrant, and a few that appear in the Niche Player quadrant as well. It’s a bit rarer for them to appear as Visionaries – if they have it figured out, their ability to execute tends to drive them up into the Leader space fairly quickly.
The chart shows places where Microsoft clearly needs to focus, and makes it clear that they play in numerous markets of interest to Gartner’s enterprise IT-focused audience. Many categories do not appear, and a half dozen MQs are currently in process. I’ll keep this up to date for myself, and occasionally will share it here.
Guest post from Chad Eschinger, Gartner’s vendor lead for Oracle
While the news out of Redwood Shores on September 18th 2014 created a short burst of excitement throughout the IT and Media industries, nothing has really changed. The news from Oracle?s Board of Directors was that Mr. Ellison would relinquish the title of CEO electing him to the position of Executive Chairman of Oracle’s Board and appointed him the company’s Chief Technology Officer while jointly promoting Mark Hurd and Safra Catz to the position CEO. This is all that is new and both will report to the board.
What this transition does signify is after years of preparation that Mr. Ellison has decided to formally begin the initial steps on a succession strategy. Oracle has identified that there will be no reporting changes within Ms. Catz or Mr. Hurd?s reporting structures and that the changes are merely title related. Ms. Catz will still be focused on back office and operational duties while Mr. Hurd will be focused on sales and marketing. Mr. Ellison will remain involved in all products strategy and development activities for the foreseeable future.
This move relays that Mr. Ellison is taking the essential beginning steps to ensure a succession plan for the coming years. While the announcement took many by surprise the way it was introduced to the market was appropriate and the succession statements show that Mr. Ellison is comfortable turning over more of the day-to-day operations to his new co-CEOs. Yet with a passion for the company and technology, he?s not ready to relinquish direct involvement in the development and direction of the company he helped found. Clients can expect minimal to no changes in Oracle?s product strategy or technology direction given Larry Ellison is retaining product development. We expect, even in his new role as Chairman of the Board, he will maintain the current product development course and speed for the foreseeable future. This co-CEO?s organization model is not unique. What is unique is that the new Oracle CEO?s do not have product development which typically is a significant means of achieving the CEO?s objectives. How this will play out is going to be worth watching.
While there?s no time that would be perfect for such an announcement, Oracle does like to make big announcements prior to its upcoming user conference, Oracle Open World, to be held the week of September 28. I?m sure more will be discussed and rumors will be flying prior to and during the conference, so stay tuned.
Digital Business is everywhere and everyone is buzzing about it. But like a swarm of angry bees, sometimes all you want is for the buzzing to stop. Unfortunately, in the digital world, the buzzing is only likely to get louder and more persistent. And it turns out; the problem isn?t really the buzzing. It?s really a problem of figuring out what steps to take to do something about digital business that will have long lasting good effects.
But that requires a new mode of thinking, one former Gartner analyst Mark McDonald blogged about earlier this year. He postulated a new mode of digital thinking was needed from executives.
But can executives adopt new modes of operations to match their new modes of thinking?
Yes, with Digital BizOps.
The Principles of Business Operations Need to Be Updated
Business operations have evolved over many periods of technological advancement in history. Whether in the industrial revolution or the digital revolution, business practices have had to change to meet the requirements of the age. Many have postulated that the digital age represents a major shift in the way business will compete or even exist in the world of digital business.
In big shifts, we find there are great opportunities to grow a business. But we also must learn which rules of operation are key to competing well in the new business paradigms. Barnes and Noble had to learn this to compete with Amazon. Blockbuster struggled to learn this fast enough to compete with RedBox or Netflix.
The idea of Digital BizOps postulates that there are many new tools and disciplines for digital business operations that must be embraced. Among the tools and disciplines are rising categories like DevOps and industrialized cloud delivery among others. And, BizOps recognizes that there are new rules. The new rules of digital business operation are based on the premise that the ways we did things in the past may not be sacrosanct. We must be ready to change. And to do that, we must challenge our operational assumptions and we must be ready to adapt our operations to new realities on a regular basis. To do that, we must have an increasing number of what could be called ?feedback loops? between internal and external people and processes. These feedback loops will allow users of a digital technology to help evolve the design and use of digital technology with appropriate speed to make a difference at the point of need.
In digital business, customers are more willing to try new options than ever before. New competitors may bypass you in a short time with little or no indication they were a threat until they show up on your customer?s doorstep. The need to add new features or capabilities to your products and services has to be done as frequently as possible ? and; it all has to be done in record time.
The examples are legion and almost caracatures of innovation by now. Uber revolutionizes transportation, WhatsApp shakes the foundation of messaging and communications, Air BnB, well, you get the picture?
Since almost any business can become a digital business overnight, it speaks to a competitive need to react more agilely than historically possible. But this kind of agility can be a trap. In most cases greater agility can lead to greater fragility. As changes mount at a business level, the chances that mistakes will be made or that unexpected failures will happen because of a change becomes high. These are the red flags of digital operations.
Executives are familiar with the basic tools of business economics when it comes to optimizing a business for certain economic conditions. We have the budget cutting knife which every IT department fears. We have the people-launcher which reduces employees to economic chess pieces to be sacrificed in the name of downsizing. But where are the tools that allow us to explore new options rapidly, to consistently leverage economies of scale, or to change without the changes themselves causing negative disruption?
This is not to say that all business operations must change or be overturned. Instead, it is to say that some challenges of digital businesses must be supported by operational discipline rather than reactive initiatives like cost cutting. Digital BizOps identifies some of those operational disciplines. Speed, scale, efficiency, and overall agility all supported by digital machines and the software that runs them are now operational imperatives.
Define new types of assets
Typically business operations are about harvesting and increasing the value of assets both physical (fixed) and intangible. A building can be rented to create recurring revenue just as an idea can be sold on a royalty basis to create recurring revenue. While this also happens in a digital business, there is a new dynamic which potentially creates new types of assets ? the blurring of the physical and virtual worlds.
We say that digital blurs the distinctions between the physical and virtual worlds in two specific ways. One is that physical characteristics can be pumped into the virtual world through sensors and the Internet of things. The other is through creation of physical objects from virtual representations directly through a 3d printer. These two directions of flow (sensor data in and 3d objects out) create what we call Transitional assets which will generate continuously changing physical or intangible assets that cannot be managed with the mechanisms of the past.
Fig 1: Business Assets
Transitional assets are ones which can form a bridge between a physical and an intangible asset. One might say that transitional assets are like money and stock, which can transition from one form to another and yet retain their value. These are usually called tangible assets. However, a transitional asset actually generates new value without sacrificing or transforming the value of the original asset. While one could use monetary assets as a means to acquire more valuable assets, normally one would sacrifice ownership of the tangible asset used to pay for the new ones.
A blueprint for a 3D printed shoe is a transitional asset. In most business operations this would have been called an intangible asset but in Digital BizOps it is transitional due to the creation of a direct physical result through automated means, not through a manufacturing process. One might ask how this is different from any design document that is used to manufacture a car engine or a child?s toy. In essence it is no different. But in practice, the digital nature of the blueprint, and the rapidity at which it can be changed and printed is unparalleled at generating physical asset value significantly faster than other types of design documents.
Contextual information gathered from sensors is a transitional asset since it is gathered directly from physical monitoring and is used to form operations and transactions that directly generate profit. One example is the use of wearable sensors like Fitbit, or a Nike Fuelband where continuous health monitoring is tied to social interactions, discounts, loyalty programs, and even health product transactions. The transitional nature of this sort of asset is to turn contextual information into human behavioral catalysts. Not only are the sensors assets, but their physical location, who wears them, the direction they scan, and how much data they capture are also assets. While the physical location of a store, or the direction it faces have always been assets to a company, just try turning that store around or moving it to a different location once a month.
These are the new ways of securing the value of assets that have not been available to most businesses in such volume and density. It?s not that sensors or contextual data are new. It is the density of their presence, or the volume of data, or the ability to use it in so many digital ways that speak to the transitional nature of them as asset.
Just as Bitcoin is redefining financial categories for currency, so too will contextual data be used in ever changing ways to redefine profit scenarios. Just as 3d printed sculptures are redefining what is art, so too will the physical plant of an organization be redefined as printing options grow cheaper and more complex. Transitional assets will allow the creation of new ways to account for the three mandates of business operations described in Production and Operations Management (Poonia): generating recurring revenue, growing the value of assets, and securing the assets and revenues of a business.
Decide to embrace the mechanisms of digital BizOps
So, what are the mechanisms to support a movement to digital BizOps? They include mechanisms to allow for more rapid experimentation, to perhaps take advantage of serentipity (unexpected opportunities), and to become much more agile and adaptive. The savvy reader will have noted the correlation of the phrase ?BizOps? and the phrase ?DevOps?. This is in part intentional to show an alignment between technology driven approaches and the outcomes in business operations digital business requires.
In part two of this three part series, we will discuss the effect of things like DevOps, digital marketing, cloud industrialization, and even crowd sourcing on a digital BizOps model as we introduce the concept of DevOps Economics.
My other SIEM paper is updated as well: ?SIEM Technology Assessment and Select Vendor Profiles.? It contains updated SIEM technology overview, some fun new trends, and refreshed vendor profiles.
Here is how you can use all my recent SIEM stuff:
P.S. Gartner GTP access required for all of the above!
Others posts announcing document publication:
Blog posts related to SIEM research:
Recently, some suspicious cell phone towers were discovered in the United States. It is believed they are spy towers ? listening in on calls and or tracking people. It?s not known who put them there. At the same time, in Australia, Russia, the UK, India, South Africa and many other countries ? innovators are working as fast as they can to develop delivery and other drones. If you are in an airport right now, there?s a chance it is tracking your movement via your WiFi device, as Copenhagen does. If you are in the vicinity of a person vaping on an electronic cigarette, there?s a chance it?s trying to contact others nearby. This is the world of connected, smart and powerful things.
Cars are also becoming part of that connected world. One day they will be doing limited self-driving ? for example parking themselves without a driver. They are supposed to be very safe and incapable of running a person over ? but how comfortable will we feel about them? (I?ve read that book Robopocalyse) Of course all of these things will be valuable to us, but sometimes they will go wrong. When they do, we will want to know who is liable for any damage they cause. We will want to know who abandoned them – if they end up as rubbish on our streets. We will want to know who they belong to if they start to re-order their own supplies ? as agricultural robots might. In general ? I don?t think we will accept an urban or rural environment full of smart connected devices buzzing around if they are anonymous.
Every significant object on the internet of things will be some company?s product. Either that company will be liable and accountable for what it does, or the customer who bought it will be. Either way, any insurer will want an unambiguous record of to whom the thing currently belongs. So I?m thinking some kind of digital certificate and ownership register probably needs to evolve. Developing that system of registration and tracking might be a golden commercial opportunity for someone.
If you?re a Yankees fan, by sometime today you will have seen ?the video?. Gatorade started airing an ad late this week that features soon-to-be-retired Derek Jeter, walking the last few blocks to Yankee Stadium, accompanied by Frank Sinatra singing, ?My Way.? As he approaches the stadium, he greets legions of long time, very surprised fans. It?s a solid 90 seconds (watch it on YouTube here) ? worth your next work break, even if you?re a Red Sox fan (or, like me, you roar for the Detroit Tigers).
It is probably relevant to ask yourself at this point, what does a TV ad, about star I don?t cheer for (and may have cheered against) have to do with social media (the topic I should be blogging about today)?
Cut to the research we?re featuring in our client experience this week. The notes and articles we?ve chosen focus on the tools, techniques, and real-world social marketing successes Truthfully, we could feature this topic every week, without fatigue, since one of the most common inquiry questions we receive is ?who IS doing social marketing well??
The good news is that social marketing case studies feel like they’re everywhere. But really good social marketing is about doing it YOUR WAY (see, how I circled back to Jeter / Gatorade there)? Good social marketers articulate a strategic imperative ? what they NEED social marketing to do for their brand? then they balance it with what their customers NEED from their social program? and they get to marching (and measuring).
I highlighted a case study in my note this week that?s gotten some industry attention before, but it?s a great reminder of what ?your way? might look like. National Instruments makes test and measurement hardware and software systems used by scientists and engineers. Its customers work in the aerospace, automotive, oil, gas and electronics industries, to name a few. Given the breadth and diversity of its customer base, it would be almost impossible to envision and offer support and engagement around every customer use case. Thus, in 1999, National Instruments began its investment in community forums to support engineers seeking solutions. Today, NI leverages customer and developer communities supported by Jive and Lithium Software allowing customers to get answers, and collaborate with engineers. Their communities are instrumental to helping them understand product usage patterns, identify customer needs, hone in on important features, drive sales (through links to custom parts on commerce sites), increase loyalty, and reduce support costs. This may not sound like your standard hashtag selfie campaign, but it?s serious social marketing, and it works.
When I get questions from clients about ?who is doing social marketing well,? I highlight these and other stories where a strategic objective meets a social tool, and beautiful music is made. This is not always correlated to the brands or organizations that have the most followers or connections, or the stories that make the headlines, so don?t confuse volume with impact.
Do social marketing YOUR way, such that when you?re asked if your investments are creating value, the answer is obvious. And then, cue the soundtrack?.
Resplendent in its thousand-human showing at NYC’s Grand Hyatt Hotel yesterday, AdExchanger’s bi-annual #ProgrammaticIO conference was a data stream of what its Director of Research, ad tech doyenne Joanna O’Connell, described to me as “truth-tellers.”
Among truths told in a hushed and lavishly air-conditioned room in midtown Manhattan, redolent of media planners, buyers, sellers, and all the ad techies stacked in between, were:
No, AdExchanger does not avoid controversy. They?re a fast-growing pod of journalists, event planners, researchers, who knows what, building a successful business on the scaffold of what would once have been called beat reporting. That beat is advertising technology — the machines and code that helps brands locate customers in the multichannel world — and it could not be more target-rich, rocket-fueled, hyper-hyphenated right now.
Programmatic Pros Get with the Program at Programmatic I/O
Rapt attention. It was a serious crowd; not complacent or celebratory; rather, information starved and almost poignantly attentive, listening for the whisper of disruption that could mean opportunity for their start-up or division, or could mean something worse.
What were the truths? What struck me was the image of an industry in early life, with unwritten rules and unknown team members, where nothing is clear except that there is a lot of money to be made (or lost). Even terms don’t have real definitions — a state to be expected, I suppose, when as 360i?s President Jared Belsky said, “Words like ‘programmatic’ and ‘marketing automation’ didn’t even exist a few years ago.”
Programmatic ? for now, let?s agree it is online advertising that is bought and sold in large volumes on exchanges, generally by machines supervised by people, often at auction, and usually just milliseconds before it is displayed. (Almost all of these ads today are display, but that?s changing.) Ads bought and sold like this represent about 25% of display advertising volume (not spend). Now, display is about 25% of digital ad spend, which is 25% of total ad spend, so (25% x 25%) it?s only 5% of ad spend.
We’re down to maybe $5 billion in the U.S., which is (I’m sorry) about 25% of global ad spend. At any rate, it’s a significant number already but if — as many at #ProgrammaticIO assume, not insanely — the end state sees most ad spend rivering through automated pipes on its way to prospects everywhere, well, total global media spend is over $500 billion and growing.
Now you see why we all sleep with one browser open.
Fault lines in ad tech run deeper than Nielsen vs. comScore, who have rival standards for online “rating points,” deeper into the industry’s economic soul-spirit. Three examples surfaced at #ProgrammaticIO, were hashed out in panels, and should leave us with an uneasy dream-like sense that reality is not what it is, yet. I mean that different actors in the ad tech industry have different incentives, which often puts their words at odds with their actions, and makes the industry?s actual economics quite opaque.
1. Fraud — There was a fascinating panel on fraud, which is rife. In the programmatic space, fraud comes in many flavors, from fake websites (often masquerading as real ones), to non-human bot traffic juicing website views and ad clicks. It’s possible that one-third of impressions in some media buys are phony; nobody knows. As they day’s hacker-cool panelist, Michael Tiffany of White Ops, pointed out, “Even if it’s only seven percent of traffic, it would still be one hundred times worse than the rate of credit card fraud, which everybody hears about.” Yet publishers and media buyers can both, oddly, benefit: traffic looks higher, and money gets spent. Only the advertiser really loses.
2. Transparency — Programmatic advertising is an anonymous game, with buyers often not quite knowing where their money goes, or what precisely they got for it. Blind auctions and privacy laws demand a certain lack of transparency, and advertisers are often buying exposure to “audiences” (for example, people who visited their website), regardless of what website those audiences happen to be on. Many successful businesses, notably Rocket Fuel, benefit from this arrangement, delivering audiences but never revealing prices paid. Publishers also don’t always love price transparency, especially if it means showing advertisers how much less some other brand paid for the very same impression in some ad exchange.
3. Television — Programmatic TV is an area with more talk than walk. The TV panel talked about the benefits of workflow and targeting automation, but Derek Mattsson of placemedia, telling the truths of the industry vets, said, “We’ve been talking about this for fifteen years.” Again, blame incentives. As my colleague Andrew Frank, a beloved media pundit, said, “Broadcasters are reluctant to make their inventory available to the Facebooks and Googles of the world, because they know they don’t have anything like their targeting ability.” The current linear TV buying process, with its blunt demographic targeting, works fine for the moment. Why change it?
What happens next? More of the more, my friend. And I can tell you, we’ll be watching. As AdExchanger?s Joanna O’Connell said, in the context of brands bringing ad tech in-house: “There’s a lot of ways to make this work. And every one of them is being tried right now.”
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