Two Reasons Why Women In IT Rock

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If you were in India, “they’d pay you  $30,000 for cold calling and tell you to go home.”

My former boss’s sentiments in response to my request for a salary increase.

I suppose that response would have been justified if I were not the only sales person in his small organization.

It is true that cold calling was an integral part of each work day. I surmised that the profits from the outcome of my efforts in which he reveled had caused a memory lapse.

I had  more than doubled our clientele.

That was eight years ago.

I was good.

I still am.

Now I  cold call for my own business.

But I prefer  ‘prospecting’ better.

So why do women in Information Technology rock?

  1. We are a rare breed

stunning beauty 240x340 35 Two Reasons Why Women In IT Rock

Women in technology is akin to Lupita Nyongo’s Oscar win–except we are still waiting for our ‘Oscar.’  According to the March 2014 issue of Essence magazine, Kenyan’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta calls Lupita Nyongo’s the “Pride of Africa.”

Have you been able to sniff out the sadness that lurks among the fanfare, bright lights and shiny objects that are the staples of Hollywood?

One woman is the pride of an entire continent?

But this a technology blog.

I don’t foresee any trophies in the Technology woman’s future but the need for computer scientists may necessitate some consideration.

U.S. businesses will need 1.4 million computer scientists by 2020.

Yet, at today’s graduation rate, only 30 percent of those will be filled by American trained computer scientists.

Deductive reasoning gives some insight into what percentage of that 30 percent are women.

For women in IT, gender bias dominates. Lecia Barker, associate professor in the School of Information, said, ” People tell boys that if they’re good at math, they can be an engineer. But, “for girls it just doesn’t come up as much. People encourage girls to pursue happiness, and men to be breadwinners.”

Happiness is defined as getting married and having children.

The uncommon woman, has and will continue to juggle home, family and if it is her choice, a technology career. She dictates and defines happiness for her life. Not a third party.

2. We are Change Agents

dreamstime s 91689741 199x300 Two Reasons Why Women In IT Rock

“We need a nation that looks at the fact that only 17.6 percent of computer science degrees go to women and meets that challenge as if half the country weren’t being taught to read or to write a meaningful sentence,” according  eCampus News, which is Technology News For Today’s Higher Ed Leader in its March 2014 edition.

The impact of computer literacy  cannot be over-stated.

If intrinsically, women are nurturers, and biologically we are ‘birthers,’ then logically we are the best conduit for change. It’s women like Marissa Mayer and Cheryl Sandburg who help the world dissociate technology from gender and encourage the next generation.

So then, once more women harness the power that has been bestowed upon them by nature, the doors to more women in IT will open and consequently the doors to a brighter economic future will be unlocked.

In essence all women possess the Oprah effect.

The difference is that we only know it to the extent that we act like we do.

The percentage of women in tech is severely under-represented. Our representation hovers at around 7 to 8 percent.

It is time for women to Lean In.

Five Great Resources for Women in Technology
1. Internet Society Community Grants Program: Provides funding annually to projects around the world that will bring technological resources to under-served populations. Applications for 2014 will be accepted from March 3-31, and winners will be announced in June.
2. The Internet Society Fellows to IETF Program: This award enables technologists from developing countries to participate in meetings of the IETF, the premier Internet standards-making body. First-time fellows are paired with an experienced mentor and are given the opportunity to make a positive contribution to IETF work.
3. ABI LeanIn Circles: The Anita Borg Institute and LeanIn.org have partnered to offer support for women pursuing or considering careers as technologists. Circles meet regularly to learn and share together.
4. Systers-IETF: A list for Systers involved in IETF topics — both technical and specific to women. Open to any woman interested in the IETF, whether she participates only by mail or also in person.
5. Girls in Tech: Girls in Tech (GIT) is a global organization focused on the engagement, education and empowerment of influential women in technology.
 
Sources:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2014/03/09/to-get-young-women-into-tech-focus-on-successes/
http://www.thewire.com/technology/2014/03/google-backed-incubator-looks-increase-women-tech-25-percent/359061/
http://www.ncwit.org/-National Center For Women In Technology
 
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The Top 5 killers In America Are Lifestyle Induced. Will Big Data Rescue You?

dreamstime m 312047351 682x1024 The Top 5 killers In America Are Lifestyle Induced. Will Big Data Rescue You?

Of course there are a myriad number of things to be rescued from, but the ultimate rescue is from death.

Did you know that the top 5 killers in America include obesity and smoking, heart disease, cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease?

I expected to see guns at the top of this list.

I was wrong.

According to the FBI uniform crime statistics and statistics from the U.S. center for Disease control, the most sinister killer is your next meal.

The U.S. military recruitment efforts pales in the face of this volunteer army that specializes in deliberate self destruction.

If you have decided which cloud is right for you,  the next logical step is to leverage your new found freedom and flexibility to glean all the benefits afforded by the Big Data revolution.

Today, data analytics in most hospitals is used to manage costs and increase the quality of care.

The more promising use for big data, however, is the ability to discover treatment and outcome correlations using physician and nurse notes and data driven by genetic profiles.

Big data analytics engines such s hadoop have the capability to mine the clinical data warehouses created by the Electronic Health Records (EHR), which are warehouses filled with valuable unstructured data that can be used to help doctors make decisions about patient treatment.

[Contact us to schedule your demonstration of Stealthbits: It is security for your unstructured data.]

A peek into to the sheer volume of  data  that is produced daily gives perspective into the size of  the beast yet to be tamed: Approximately 2.5 billion gigabytes of data is created daily, consisting of 200 million tweets and 30 billion pieces of content that is shared on Facebook each month alone.

The sad truth

It is true that physicians and pharmaceutical companies still rely largely on text books and pathetically small clinical studies that typically use healthy patients with only one disease, even though what is available in Big data analytic engines such as Hadoop have the capability to mine the clinical data warehouses created by the Electronic Health Record (EHR)–warehouses filled with valuable unstructured data that can be used to help doctors make decisions about patient treatment.

Only about 25% of hospitals use some form of data analytics to mine traditional databases to learn more about past treatments and about how future treatments can be improved.

Furthermore the information that is contained in the columns and rows of databases represents an almost insignificant portion of the data about patients that has been collected.

The most important information lies in the unstructured data i.e. the physicians’ notes, radiological images and lifestyle information gathered from patients using mobile devices.

Have you lost a loved one recently?

Could the intelligence from the unstructured data i.e. the physicians’ notes, radiological images and lifestyle information gathered from patients using mobile devices have saved your mother, father or your spouse?

Sources:
The FBI Uniform Crime Statistics
Statistics from U.S. Center for Disease Control
Computerworld-http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9238593/How_big_data_will_save_your_life

 

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Have You Decided Which Cloud Will Be Your Valentine?

dreamstime l 22778782 Have You Decided Which Cloud Will Be Your Valentine?

While selecting a mate may be wrought with emotions and heart throbs, choosing the right cloud platform for your enterprise need not be.

I think I heard your sigh of relief.

Most Relationships are complicated. And the ones that aren’t?

Well,

I have not found one yet.

Have you?

Nonetheless, I believe in love, marriage and romance all the time.

It’s that aged old theory at work –if it worth having, it is worth fighting for.

So fight on.

The right cloud is worth having. But make sure you have the pick of the litter.

Now, we all know or we should know that the pick of the litter is subjective.

I am sure your valentine will be also. You may fall head over heels for the one, but more than likely, your pick was dumped by someone else.

Your ‘one‘ was not the right type for that other.

Deciding which cloud platform is right for your enterprise must be consistent with the organization’s objective. So before you make your choice, it is important to evaluate what is available.

In cloud speak, here is what is available:

  1. The public cloud
  2. The private cloud
  3. The managed private cloud
  4. The hybrid cloud

What is your type?

The commitment phobe. The public cloud.

If you want to date with no strings attached, the public cloud is for you.

It is perfect for businesses that desire the advantages of being in the cloud without the commitment of more complex cloud services which are generally used to house more intricate solutions or sensitive data.

This decision is typically driven by the budget conscious and/or growing businesses who want to “pay as they go.”  The public cloud allow businesses to leverage equipment that already exist without allocating valuable resources to buy temporary, depreciating equipment.  It delivers true economies of scale and is ideal for businesses that need temporary added computing capacity at peak times for collaborative team projects, a spot to test and develop new applications, or a location to house such standardized apps as email.

The engagement. The hybrid cloud.

A hybrid solution delivers additional flexibility and scalability to businesses employing private clouds, but at times also require additional on-demand scalability in response to unexpected surges in workload or recurring times of peak usage.

It consists of technology managed both internally and externally, with businesses possibly housing less-sensitive data in a public cloud and proprietary information in-house, where such access control measures as authentication, encryption  and data confidentiality can be more easily implemented and controlled for greater security.

The private cloud. The Marriage.

If security is important to you, then the private cloud is your type.

The private cloud boast an added measure of safety because its services and infrastructure are maintained on a private network. Additionally, it gives businesses total control over its data and applications.

While the private, on-site cloud solution requires the purchase and ongoing maintenance of software and infrastructure it is a strong choice for organizations large enough to run their own data centers and whose businesses are their data and applications. Furthermore it is prudent for companies that have to comply with stringent security and data privacy regulations, such as healthcare, government and insurance.

The outlier. The managed private cloud.

This option allows for growing businesses that required increased capacities but aren’t quite ready to purchase on-site equipment.

Unlike smaller third party cloud service provider, managed cloud specialists employ highly defined and large-scale tested processes, governance and controls integrated into businesses’ existing delivery environments.

So which cloud will be your valentine?

 Source: HP Technology at work, October 2013
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Your Rainbow In The Cloud: Do You Know What It Is?

Maya Angelou, our iconic example of the impact of recognizing Rainbows in the Cloud continues to inspire. Here is what she says:

 The Cloud phenomenon transcends beautifully don’t you think?  I mean, would you have imagined even a mere 1o years ago that Maya and Cloud computing would  be used to make any point?

But here we are.

When you think of a rainbow, what  adjectives come to mind?

How about hope and clarity?

And who can forget the biblical account of  Noah and the Ark?

Those 8 folks according to the story must have relished that rainbow after it rained for what must have felt like forever.

And not only did they survive the flood, God sent them the rainbow to comfort them by letting them know that they were the only survivors.

And, not only did they survive;

They were safe and secure.

In Cloud Computing, Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is that rainbow.

The advantages of Cloud computing are compelling:

  • Significant savings on capital expenses
  • Flexible IT Infrastructure by providing easy access to shared elastically allocated computing resources
  • Reduction in the running cost of operating the network, which allows enterprises to focus on their core competencies instead of IT

But so are the risks to:

  • Data Privacy & Security
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Data Location

Concern over the security of an organization’s most valued asset–its data, continues to intimidate many would-be and actual Cloud adopters.

Data  privacy and security requires that IT professionals recognize and pay tribute to the rainbow in the Cloud.

Not only will SSL provide peace of mind in terms of  data segregation and security, it also hinders the accidental disclosure of protected or private data.

When regulatory due diligence and data access is automated, SSL encryption renders all sensitive data useless to any third party who tries to intercept or view it.

Why is this important?

On November 14, 2013, I gave birth to Baby Rachael. I have had to hire nanny care. My nanny and Administration for Children’s services holds me responsible for meeting all her needs regardless of how much I will have to pay for child care services.

Cloud providers are nannies.

When an organization outsources IT to a cloud service provider, the organization is still responsible for maintaining compliance with SOX, PCI, HIPPA and any other applicable regulations.

Consequently, the enterprise will be held liable for data security and integrity even if it is outsourced.

Since the enterprise IT manager cannot rely on the cloud provider to satisfy the regulatory requirements, the enterprise must require the cloud provider to seek some compliance oversight, which is the second area of risk in the cloud.

And how does SSL address Data Location–the third area of risk in the cloud?

Think Iran or North Korea.

Organizations want to thrive in the American economy.  They do  not want to be known for or be penalized for having even mild flirtations with countries on the ‘forbidden list.’

The public cloud permits the ubiquitous access to data. A very good thing.

But this very good thing turns ugly if  it is discovered that an enterprise is engaging in illicit relations by having its servers in countries like Iran or North Korea.

A fling with a country like Iran is easy because the public cloud lends itself to such clandestine operations by virtue of its culture.

Cloud computing is a double-edged sword.

Furthermore, a legitimate third-party SSL provider will not issue an SSL certificate to thugs. North Korea and Iran are international thugs.

And as long as the cloud provider requires trusted authentication and encryption on all their servers through SSL from a certificate authority, an enterprise will know that the cloud provider isn’t storing their data on IT hardware in these countries.

Choosing a cloud provider with confidence is important but recognizing the rainbow in the cloud will always be the responsibility of the enterprise.

  1. Source: Gartner EXPWorldwde Survey
  2. Source: IDC exchange
 
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Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong With A Little Segregation Martin

martin luther king kids 12793794 Aint Nothin Wrong With A Little Segregation Martin

Nothing wrong.

Data needs privacy and security.

Hence,

There  is nothing wrong with Data segregation.

Smile. I hate bad grammar too.

In a previous post entitled, “Every Relationship Needs A Little SSL,” we discussed the mechanism of how to achieve the integrity of your data.

Now we continue our series with  how SSL works to provide a bridge to secure Data in the Cloud.

If you’re like me, you probably respect and revere Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

But we both know that when it comes to our data, holding hands and singing Kumbaya is just not the route to take.

Not if you want to stay employed.

Back to that in a moment.

Did you know that there is an ongoing feud over who owns the rights to the Kumbaya lyrics. Frey claims he is the owner, but:

There is debate about the truth of Frey’s authorship claim; recent research has found that sometime between 1922 and 1931, members of an organization called the Society for the Preservation of Spirituals  collected a song from the South Carolina coast. Come By Yuh,  as they called it, was sung in Gullah, the Creole dialect spoken by the former slaves living on the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia. In Gullah, “Kumbaya” means “Come by here”, so the lyric could be translated as “Come by here, my lord, come by here. Another version was preserved on a wax cylinder in May 1936 by Robert Winslow Gordon, founder of what became the American Folklife Center. Gordon discovered a woman named Ethel Best singing Come By Here  with a group in Raiford, Florida

I think they were struggling with  Data Segregation and Secure Access.

There are three elements for ensuring  Data Segregation and Secure Access.

  1. Encryption
  2. Authentication
  3. Certificate Validity

Encryption relaxes me because it insists that you should mind your own business. And that without the proper decryption tool, my business does not become yours without my permission.

But in the Cloud, all encryption is not equal.

Businesses should require that their cloud provider use a combination of SSL and servers that support, at minimum, 128-bit encryption.

But if you want to sleep well at night, go all out and use the stronger 256-bit encryption.

Additionally businesses should also demand that server ownership be authenticated before one iota of data transfers between servers.

But be careful,

Self-assigned SSL certificates provide no authentication.  Take Michelle Pfieffer’s advice from Scarface.

‘Don’t get high on your own supply.’

Only, independent, third-party SSL  certificates delivers legitimate ownership authentication. This makes it impossible to establish a rogue server that can infiltrate the cloud provider’s environment.

Furthermore, as far as certificate validity is concerned, once a server and domain are authenticated, the SSL certificate issued to that device will be valid for a defined length of time.

In the rare case that an SSL certificate has been compromised in some way, there is a fail-safe check to verify that the certificate has not been revoked in the time since it was originally issued. Every time an SSL handshake is initiated, the SSL certificate is checked against a current database of revoked certificates.

In life and especially in the Cloud, you must check what you expect.

  1. Source:
  2. Gartner Research
  3. Source IDC
  4. Assessing the Security Risk of Cloud Computing
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Why Every Relationship Needs A Little SSL

accesspriviliges 150x150 Why Every Relationship Needs A Little SSL

Doesn’t the word ‘access’ turn you on on multiple levels?

The idea that,

you’re in the know,

that you’ve got clout,

And,

that you’re an

Insider?

Now,

Let’s add,

‘Privilege.’

Access Privilege.

Sends your ‘cloutiness’ over the top, doesn’t it?

Now you’re a real high roller…

But, you know what?

Privileged Access is Expensive.

Cost me a friend of 7 years.

We were at ground zero of operating a small business. She contributed no financial capital,

Yet,

She wanted access to the bank account.

I said,

‘No.’

In an earlier post, we discussed the 7 elements of choosing a Cloud Provider. Now we will investigate the first component:

Access Privileges

Cloud service providers should be able to demonstrate they enforce adequate hiring, oversight and access controls to enforce administrative delegation.

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a security protocol used by web browsers and web servers to help users protect their data during transfer. It is the standard for establishing trusted exchanges of information over the internet.

‘Trusted Exchanges.’

That’s the ticket. The missing element in my relationship in what was, I thought, a solid friendship.

I thought.

We do not have time to discuss her presumption.

Tacky.

So how does SSL work?

Well,

Before I tell you how it works, let me tell you how it will help you when you are hanging out in the Cloud.

SSL delivers two services that help with some cloud security issues. First SSL encryption keeps inquisitive eyes from reading private data as it is transmitted from server to server and between server and browser.

The second benefit, and possibly more important?

It establishes that a specific server and domain that can be trusted. An SSL certificate can authenticate that a specific server and domain do belong to the person or organization that it claims to represent. This benefit requires that the hosting provider use SSL from a third-party Certificate Authority (CA).

How SSL Works

An SSL certificate contains a public and private key pair as well as verified identification information. When a browser (or client) points to a secured domain, the server shares its public key (via the SSL certificate) with the client to establish an encryption method and a unique encryption key for the session. The client confirms that it recognizes and trusts the issuer of the SSL certificate.

Most reasonable people know this to be true:

A handshake can go a long way in every relationship.

SSL is just that, a firm handshake.

It says, this thing between you and me? It’s real.

So go ahead,

Access my data.

My data is safe with you. My privacy is your top priority and integrity regulates our relationship.

SSL also says,

Trust but verify.

 

Further Reading:
2014 Forecast for Cloud Computing
One quarter of all Cloud Providers will disappear by 2015
 
Source:
  • Gartner Research
  • Gartner EXPworldwide Survey
  • IDC exchange
  • “Assessing the Security Risk of Cloud computing.”~Gartner
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In A Cloud? Careful, You Could Fall Off The Edge.

dreamstime l 32885448 640x373 In A Cloud? Careful, You Could Fall Off The Edge.

 

Remember the era when the idea of having any association with being in a Cloud automatically conjured up negative images and connotations?  When it was synonymous with being the bumbling idiot, having two left feet, being behind the times or just plain ignorant?

 Happy New Year! It is 2014.

And if you are not in the Cloud or preparing to go to the Cloud, then…

Well,

Now you might just become the town idiot.

I know, I know, it’s a different kind of of Cloud, but you get my point.

You do get it right?

Warning.

While it is now hip to be in the Cloud, it will still rain,

And,

You could slip and fall.

So let’s make sure you are prepared.

Here,

Stock up on these 7 security umbrellas when selecting a Cloud provider.

  1. Access privileges-Cloud service providers should be able to demonstrate they enforce adequate hiring, oversight and access controls to enforce administrative delegation.
  2. Regulatory compliance-Enterprises are accountable for their own data even when it’s in a public cloud, and should ensure their providers are ready and willing to undergo audits.
  3. Data location-When selecting a hosting provider, it’s important to ask where their datacenters are located and if they can commit to following specific privacy requirements.
  4. Data segregation-Most public clouds are shared environments, and it is critical to make sure hosting providers can guarantee complete data data segregation for secure multi-tenancy.
  5. Data recovery-Enterprises must make sure their hosting provider has the ability to do a complete restoration in the event of a disaster.
  6. Monitoring and reporting-Monitoring and logging public cloud activity is hard to do, so enterprises should ask for proof that their hosting providers can support investigations.
  7. Business continuity-Businesses come and go, and enterprises should ask hard questions about the portability of their data to avoid lock-in or potential loss if the business fails.

We will delve into each of these components in the coming weeks.

Stay tuned.

And,

Until then, remove the blindfold.

See Ten Things You Should Know About Microsoft Office 365

Google Apps To Challenge Microsoft’s enterprise business

Over 90 percent of IT workers are moving to the Cloud

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Big Data, Our ‘Hybrid’ Solar Eclipse?

Solar Eclipse 2013 Big Data, Our Hybrid Solar Eclipse?Solar eclipse watchers know that Sunday’s ‘hybrid’ solar eclipse comes around only once in 159 years. A hybrid solar eclipse happens when one kind of eclipse morphs into another, according to Mark Sappenfield, a staff writer at the The Christian Science Monitor.

At what other time in history have we seen the morphing of so many different types of data sets? We are in the throes of an accelerated data evolution; “a techno tsunami, an unprecedented convergence of  Big Data analytics, Social, Mobile and the Cloud.”

So what will your organization do with this moment in time?

Some organizations have adopted the ‘wait and see’ approach while others have no plans at all.

But,

Then there are those visionaries.

The ‘Steve Jobs’ of this century. Those that live out the mantra, Carpe Diem!

They refuse to bet on another 159 years.

They believe in the Power of Now.

They are readying themselves for the nectar, the honey, which is the by-product of this massive data convergence.

According to Source Digit, the Big Data market will exceed the $50 billion mark worldwide within the next 4 years.

Honeybee Pollen Big Data, Our Hybrid Solar Eclipse?

 

 

 

 

 

How does your organization stack up among the throng of  Big Data star gazers?

Unlike some continents that  were unable to see the glory of this Sunday’s ‘Hybrid’ Solar Eclipse,

The Big Data Eclipse  is limitless.

Without boundaries.

You may contact me to schedule your Big Data WebEx today!

 

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