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Microsoft Azure Sphere chip for end-to-end IoT security from the Cloud to Network Edge

“MediaTek is a good partner [for Microsoft] to have for its Azure Sphere secure IoT chip,” said Laura DiDio, principal analyst with ITIC. “They will provide a Wi-Fi controller, the processor will run Microsoft’s Linux-based IoT OS and you’ve now got a highly secure, connected device at a decent price point.”

Channel Futures, April 17, 2018

Microsoft Reorganization:

“Microsoft has actually been moving away from Windows and more towards the cloud, analytics and AI for the past ten years,” explained Laura DiDio, an analyst at ITIC. “This did not happen overnight.” DiDio pointed out that Nadella has made major changes quickly during his tenure. “That’s the way you have to move,” to stay relevant, she said. “You’ve got to be agile to stay ahead of the game.”

The changes don’t mean that Microsoft is totally giving up on Windows, DiDio said. But they do mean that Nadella is focusing the company’s energies around stronger assets.

“They’re de-emphasizing Windows,” she said, in order to become a stronger “player in cloud and artificial intelligence, because that’s where the money is.”

CNN Money, March 29, 2018

Failure to deliver reliability and uptime:

“Time is money,” DiDio says. “Systems, networks and connectivity devices are subject to failure. If the downtime persists for any significant length of time, it can be expensive in terms of monetary losses. It can disrupt operations, decrease worker productivity and negatively impact the organization’s business partners, customers and suppliers.

“A security outage of any significant duration can also be a PR nightmare and damage the company’s reputation, causing lost business,” DiDio says. “Reliability and uptime go hand in hand with a comprehensive, detailed backup and disaster recovery plan that also includes an internal operational level agreement that designates a chain of command in the event of any type of service disruption.”

Every organization should have a disaster recovery plan that includes an itemized list of who to contact at vendor organizations, cloud and third-party service providers, DiDio says. “The CISO should also know what the company’s contracts stipulate as the response time from vendors, cloud, and third-party service providers to respond to and thwart security incidents and track down the hackers,” she says.

CSO Online, November 21, 2017

Cal State University and Hartnell College Launching Cohort Program:

“Since 2013, the two institutions have promoted this program as a way to attract minorities, women and students who are the first in their families to attend college to Computer Science and STEM subjects. The Cohort program nurtures these students by having them take their CS classes as a group.” DiDio says. It also helps them adjust more quickly to college life by providing them with group study and life skills classes to help them stick with CS as a major and graduate.

“So far, so good. A 75% majority of students enrolled in the CSUMB/Hartnell CS Cohort program graduate. This is well above the national average of about 30%,” DiDio notes.

ITIC Corp, November 17, 2017

Burger King Ad Creates Whopper of a Mess:

“In the Internet of Things environment, where you can have “an ecosystem or ecosystems of ecosystems interconnected, the attack vector universe is potentially limitless,” noted Laura DiDio, research director for IoT at 451 Research.

The risks are “everywhere, and what you can do is mitigate risk to an acceptable level,” she told the E-Commerce Times — but that requires vendors to make secure products.

E-Commerce Times, April 13, 2017

United Airlines Customer Service Snafus:

United’s behavior was “cavalier and callous,” said Laura DiDio, research director for IoT at 451 Research.

“The deck is stacked against passengers these days,” she told CRM Buyer.

However, this situation “is a PR nightmare for United Airlines,” DiDio added, “and it’s not going away.”

CRMBuyer, April 11, 2017

Ask any 10 qualified people to guess which of the major database platforms is the most secure and chances are at least half would say Oracle. That is incorrect.

The correct answer is Microsoft’s SQL Server. In fact, the Oracle database has recorded the most number of security vulnerabilities of any of the major database platforms over the last eight years.

This is not a subjective statement. The data comes directly from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Since 2002, Microsoft’s SQL Server has compiled an enviable record. It is the most secure of any of the major database platforms. SQL Server has recorded the fewest number of reported vulnerabilities — just 49 from 2002 through June 2010 — of any database. These statistics were compiled independently by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the government agency that monitors security vulnerabilities by technology, vendor, and product (see Exhibit 1). So far in 2010, through June, SQL Server has a perfect record — no security bugs have been recorded by NIST CVE.

And SQL Server was the most secure database by a wide margin: Its closest competitor, MySQL (which was owned by Sun Microsystems until its January 2010 acquisition by Oracle) recorded 98 security flaws or twice as many as SQL Server.

By contrast, during the same eight-and-a-half year period spanning 2002 through June 2010, the NIST CVE recorded 321 security vulnerabilities associated with the Oracle database platform, the highest total of any major vendor. Oracle had more than six times as many reported security flaws as SQL Server during the same time span. NIST CVE statistics recorded 121 security-related issues for the IBM DB2 platform during the past eight-and-a-half years.

Solid security is an essential element for many mainstream line-of-business (LOB) applications, and a crucial cornerstone in the foundation of every organization’s network infrastructure. Databases are the information repositories for many organizations; they contain much of the sensitive corporate data and intellectual property. If database security is compromised, the entire business is potentially at risk.

SQL Server’s unmatched security record is no fluke. It is the direct result of significant Microsoft investment in its Trustworthy Computing Initiative, which the company launched in 2002. In January of that year, Microsoft took the step of halting all new code development for several months across its product lines to scrub the code base and make its products more secure.

The strategy is working. In the past 21 months since January 2009, Microsoft has issued only eight (8) SQL Server security-related alerts. To date in 2010 (January through June), there have been no SQL Server vulnerabilities recorded by Microsoft or NIST. Microsoft is the only database vendor with a spotless security record the first six months of 2010.

ITIC conducted an independent Web-based survey on SQL Server security that polled 400 companies worldwide during May and June 2010. The results of the ITIC 2010 SQL Server Security survey support the NIST CVE findings. Among the survey highlights:
• An 83% majority rated SQL Server security “excellent” or “very good” (see Exhibit 2, below).
• None of the 400 survey respondents gave SQL Server security a “poor” or “unsatisfactory” rating.
• A 97% majority of survey participants said they experienced no inherent security issues with SQL Server.
• Anecdotal data obtained during first-person customer interviews also elicited a very high level of satisfaction with the embedded security functions and capabilities of SQL Server 7, SQL Server 2000, SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, and the newest SQL Server 2008 R2 release. In fact, database administrators, CIOs and CTOs interviewed by ITIC expressed their approbation with Microsoft’s ongoing initiatives to improve SQL Server’s overall security and functionality during the last decade starting with SQL Server 2000.

Strong security is a must for every organization irrespective of size or vertical industry. Databases are among the most crucial applications in the entire network infrastructure. Information in databases is the organization’s intellectual property and life blood.

Databases are essentially a company’s electronic filing system. The information contained in the database directly influences and impacts every aspect of the organization’s daily operations including relationships with customers, business partners, suppliers and its own internal end users. All of these users must have the ability to quickly, efficiently and securely locate and access data. The database platform must be secure. An insecure, porous database platform will almost certainly compromise business operations and by association, any firm that does business with it. Any lapses in database security, including deliberate internal and external hacks, inadvertent misconfiguration, or user errors can mean lost or damaged data, lost revenue, and damage to the company’s reputation, raising the potential for litigation and loss of business.

It’s also true that organizations bear at least 50 percent of the responsibility for keeping their databases and their entire network infrastructures secure. As the old proverb goes, “The chain is only as secure as its weakest link.” Even the strongest security can be undone or bypassed by user error, misconfiguration or weak computer security practices. No database or network is 100 percent hack-proof or impregnable.Organizations should consult with their vendors regarding any questions and concerns they may have about the security of ANY of their database platforms. They should also ensure they stay updated with the latest patches and install the necessary updates. Above all, bolster the inherent security of your databases with the appropriate third party security tools and applications. Make sure your organization strictly adheres to best computer security computing practices. At the end of the day only you can defend your data.

Registered ITIC site users can Email me at: ldidio@itic-corp.com for a copy of the full report.



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