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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

The cost of downtime continues to increase as do the business risks. An 81% majority of organizations now require a minimum of 99.99% availability. This is the equivalent of 52 minutes of unplanned outages related to downtime for mission critical systems and applications or ,just 4.33 minutes of unplanned monthly outage for servers, applications and networks.                                         

 Over 98% of large enterprises with more than 1,000 employees say that on average, a single hour of downtime per year costs their company over $100,000, while an 81% of organizations report that the cost exceeds $300,000. Even more significantly: three in 10 enterprises – 33% – indicate that hourly downtime costs their firms $1 million or more (See Exhibit 1). It’s important to note that these statistics represent the “average” hourly cost of downtime.  In a worst case scenario – if any device or application becomes unavailable for any reason the monetary losses to the organization can reach millions per minute. Devices, applications and networks can become unavailable for myriad reasons. These include: natural and man-made catastrophes; faulty hardware; bugs in the application; security flaws or hacks and human error. Business-related issues, such as a Regulatory Compliance related inspection or litigation, can also force the organization to shutter its operations. For whatever the reason, when the network and its systems are unavailable, productivity grinds to a halt and business ceases.   

Highly regulated vertical industries like Banking and Finance, Food, Government, Healthcare, Hospitality, Hotels, Manufacturing, Media and Communications, Retail, Transportation and Utilities must also factor in the potential losses related to litigation as well as civil penalties stemming from organizations’ failure to meet Service Level Agreements (SLAs) or Compliance Regulations. Moreover, for a select three percent of organizations, whose businesses are based on high level data transactions, like banks and stock exchanges, online retail sales or even utility firms, losses may be calculated in millions of dollars per minute.

Those are the results of ITIC’s 2017 Reliability and Hourly Cost of Downtime Trends Survey, an independent Web-based survey which polled over 800 organizations in April/May 2017. All categories of businesses were represented in the survey respondent pool: 24% were small/midsized (SMB) firms with up to 200 users; 25% came from the small/midsized (SME) enterprise sector with 201 to 1,000 users and 51% were large enterprises with over 1,000 users. 

These statistics are not absolute. They are the respondents’ estimates of the cost of one hour of hourly downtime due to lost revenue and lost end user productivity. Additionally, these figures do not take into account the cost of additional penalties for regulatory non-compliance or “good will” gestures made to the organization’s customers and business partners that were negatively impacted by a system or network failure. In fact, these two conditions can cause downtime costs to skyrocket even further.

The overarching message is clear: downtime of even a few minutes is expensive and unwelcome. Only two percent of enterprise respondents said that downtime costs their companies less than $100,000 in a single 60-minute time period. Downtime costs are similarly high for small and midsized businesses (SMBs) with one to 150 employees; some 47% of SMB survey respondents estimate that a single hour of downtime can cost their firms $100,000 in lost revenue and end user productivity. To reiterate these figures are exclusive of penalties, remedial action by IT and any ensuing monetary awards that are the result of litigation, civil or criminal non-compliance penalties.There is well documented evidence from a variety of sources that track the skyrocketing cost of downtime.  The expenses and losses associated with downtime continue to climb in the Internet age where business is conducted 24 x 7 across global time zones. Hourly losses of hundreds of thousands or millions per hour or even minutes in transaction-heavy environments are unfortunately commonplace.

ITIC’s survey revealed that for large enterprises with over 1,000 employees, the costs associated with a single of hour of downtime are much higher, with average hourly outage costs topping the $5 Million (US Dollars) mark for nine specific verticals. These include: Banking/Finance; Government; Healthcare; Manufacturing; Media & Communications; Retail; Transportation and Utilities. The ITIC survey data revealed that although monetary losses topped users’ list of downtime concerns, it was not the only factor worrisome to organizations. The top six business consequences that concerned users are (in order):

  • Transaction/sales losses
  • Lost/damaged data
  • Customer dissatisfaction
  • Restarting/return to full operation
  • Damage to the company’s brand and reputation
  • Regulatory compliance exposure

The message is clear: unplanned downtime is costly and unacceptable from both a business and technology perspective. Organizations must proactively work with their infrastructure and cloud vendors to ensure the inherent reliability of their systems, applications and networks. This is imperative as the industry moves to interconnected Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystems.



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