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Hacking Hackers

This is a ten step program to fight hacking attacks. You may or may not choose to ignore it, laugh at it, or ponder on it.

1) Internet security is a billion dollar business which will only grow in size as cloud computing approaches. Pioneers in providing security will earn considerable revenue like McAffee  , Norton did in the PC era. Incidentally it also means the consulting/partner group that is willing to work with virtual workers and virtual payments to offshore consultants.

2) Industrial espionage has existed from the days the West stole Gunpowder and Silk formula from China (and China is now doing the same to its software). The company and country will the best hackers will win. Keep your team motivated mate, or it is very easy for them to defect to the other side of the (cyber) wall.

3) When 2 billion people have access to internet the number of hackers will grow in number and quality much more rapidly than when only 100 million people across the world had access. Thanks to Google Translate, Paypal, Skype video Call, Tor Project, and Google Voice i can and have collaborative with hackers almost in all geographies. You can only imagine what the black hats are doing.

4) Analyzing hackers is like reading Chinese Tea Leaves. If you have experienced analysts, you will slip up. recruit the hackers in the dormitory before China recruits them using Lulz Security as a bogus cover. or USA recruits them as cover for spreading democracy in the Arab countries.

5) get your website audited for security breaches. sponsor a hack my website contest. before someone else does it for you.

6) Fighting hackers was always tough. But now we have part time hackers , people with perfectly respectable jobs who look like Mr Andersen and hack like Neo from the Matrix. Every kid once wanted to be a firefighter. Every geek dreams  of the one ultimate hack.

7) if you cant beat hackers, join them.

8) the more machine data is generated, the more you need external experts and newer software interfaces. Investing in open data, datasets is good. Keeping Bradley manning naked in his cell is bad. ignore the bad PR at your own cost.

9) Stop blaming China for every hack attack. You are a techie not a politician

10) Hack hard. Hack well. If someone hacks you, you will need to hack them off offensively unless you just want to be an easy mark for the rest of your lives. Counter -hacking expertise needs to be strengthened and groomed. hacking is an offense not just a defense game.

 

 

Why open source companies dont dance?

I have been pondering on this seemingly logical paradox for some time now-

1) Why are open source solutions considered technically better but not customer friendly.

2) Why do startups and app creators in social media or mobile get much more press coverage than

profitable startups in enterprise software.

3) How does tech journalism differ in covering open source projects in enterprise versus retail software.

4) What are the hidden rules of the game of enterprise software.

Some observations-

1) Open source companies often focus much more on technical community management and crowd sourcing code. Traditional software companies focus much more on managing the marketing community of customers and influencers. Accordingly the balance of power is skewed in favor of techies and R and D in open source companies, and in favor of marketing and analyst relations in traditional software companies.

Traditional companies also spend much more on hiring top notch press release/public relationship agencies, while open source companies are both financially and sometimes ideologically opposed to older methods of marketing software. The reverse of this is you are much more likely to see Videos and Tutorials by an open source company than a traditional company. You can compare the websites of ClouderaDataStax, Hadapt ,Appistry and Mapr and contrast that with Teradata or Oracle (which has a much bigger and much more different marketing strategy.

Social media for marketing is also more efficiently utilized by smaller companies (open source) while bigger companies continue to pay influential analysts for expensive white papers that help present the brand.

Lack of budgets is a major factor that limits access to influential marketing for open source companies particularly in enterprise software.

2 and 3) Retail software is priced at 2-100$ and sells by volume. Accordingly technology coverage of these software is based on volume.

Enterprise software is much more expensively priced and has much more discreet volume or sales points. Accordingly the technology coverage of enterprise software is more discreet, in terms of a white paper coming every quarter, a webinar every month and a press release every week. Retail software is covered non stop , but these journalists typically do not charge for “briefings”.

Journalists covering retail software generally earn money by ads or hosting conferences. So they have an interest in covering new stuff or interesting disruptive stuff. Journalists or analysts covering enterprise software generally earn money by white papers, webinars, attending than hosting conferences, writing books. They thus have a much stronger economic incentive to cover existing landscape and technologies than smaller startups.

4) What are the hidden rules of the game of enterprise software.

  • It is mostly a white man’s world. this can be proved by statistical demographic analysis
  • There is incestuous intermingling between influencers, marketers, and PR people. This can be proved by simple social network analysis of who talks to who and how much. A simple time series between sponsorship and analysts coverage also will prove this (I am working on quantifying this ).
  • There are much larger switching costs to enterprise software than retail software. This leads to legacy shoddy software getting much chances than would have been allowed in an efficient marketplace.
  • Enterprise software is a less efficient marketplace than retail software in all definitions of the term “efficient markets”
  • Cloud computing, and SaaS and Open source threatens to disrupt the jobs and careers of a large number of people. In the long term, they will create many more jobs, but in the short term, people used to comfortable living of enterprise software (making,selling,or writing) will actively and passively resist these changes to the  paradigms in the current software status quo.
  • Open source companies dont dance and dont play ball. They prefer to hire 4 more college grads than commission 2 more white papers.

and the following with slight changes from a comment I made on a fellow blog-

  • While the paradigm on how to create new software has evolved from primarily silo-driven R and D departments to a broader collaborative effort, the biggest drawback is software marketing has not evolved.
  • If you want your own version of the open source community editions to be more popular, some standardization is necessary for the corporate decision makers, and we need better marketing paradigms.
  • While code creation is crowdsourced, solution implementation cannot be crowdsourced. Customers want solutions to a problem not code.
  • Just as open source as a production and licensing paradigm threatens to disrupt enterprise software, it will lead to newer ways to marketing software given the hostility of existing status quo.

 

 

High Performance Analytics

Marry Big Data Analytics to High Performance Computing, and you get the buzzword of this season- High Performance Analytics.

It basically consists of Parallelized code to run in parallel on custom hardware, in -database analytics for speed, and cloud computing /high performance computing environments. On an operational level, it consists of software (as in analytics) partnering with software (as in databases, Map reduce, Hadoop) plus some hardware (HP or IBM mostly). It is considered a high margin , highly profitable, business with small number of deals compared to say desktop licenses.

As per HPC Wire- which is a great tool/newsletter to keep updated on HPC , SAS Institute has been busy on this front partnering with EMC Greenplum and TeraData (who also acquired  SAS Partner AsterData to gain a much needed foot in the MR/SQL space) (more…)

Why search optimization can make you like Rebecca Black

Felicia Day, actress and web content producer.

Image via Wikipedia

A highly optimized blog post or web content can get you a lot of attention just like Rebecca Black’s video (provided it passes through the new quality metrics \change*/ in the Search Engine)

But if the underlying content is weak, or based on a shoddy understanding of the content-it can drive lots of horrid comments as well as ensuring that bad word of mouth is spread about the content or you/despite your hard work.

An example of this is copy and paste journalism especially in technology circles, where even a bigger Page Ranked website /blog can get away with scraping or stealing content from a lower page ranked website (or many websites)  after adding a cursory “expert comment”. This is also true when someone who is basically a corporate communication specialist (or PR -public relations) person is given a techinical text and encourage to write about it without completely understanding it.

A mild technical defect in the search engine algorithm is that it does not seem to pay attention to when the content was published, so the copying website or blog actually can get by as fresher content even if it is practically has 90% of the same words). The second flaw is over punishment or manual punishment of excessive linking – this can encourage search optimization minded people to hoard links or discourage trackbacks.

A free internet is one which promotes free sharing of content and does not encourage stealing or un-authorized scraping or content copying. Unfortunately current search engine optimization can encourage scraping and content copying without paying too much attention to origin of the words.

In addition the analytical rigor by which search algorithms search your inboxes (as in search all emails for a keyword) or media rich sites (like Youtube) are quite on a different level of quality altogether. The chances of garbage results are much more while searching for media content and/or emails.

SAS on Fraud

As part of the ongoing leadership series of SAS Inc in Las Vegas here is a press release-

http://www.sas.com/news/preleases/casemanagementPBLSVegas09.html

 

SAS supplies super sleuthing powers with new case management solution

The Premier Business Leadership Series, LAS VEGAS  (Oct. 28, 2009)  –  Organizations in areas such as banking, insurance, government and healthcare need to stay one step ahead of criminals and better manage investigations of fraud and other financial crimes. New software from SAS, the leader in business analytics software and services, arms investigators with the analytical power to streamline processes and investigations, helping to reduce costs and improve fraud prevention. SAS® Enterprise Case Management is the latest component to the recently announced SAS Fraud Framework.

A 2008 survey by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) revealed that 90 percent of ACFE member companies expect fraud to continue growing, with internal fraud increasing most rapidly. A recent TowerGroup report1 in August 2009 found “case management can contribute a return on investment beyond fraud and risk mitigation by reducing operating costs and even uncovering new business opportunities. Case management offers an effective and automated means to leverage data used in fraud investigation for marketing and proactive customer outreach to improve retention.”

“Leading case management technologies will make it easier to see, aggregate, and integrate operational and other firmwide risks while helping to mitigate the cost and complexity of compliance,” said Rodney Nelsestuen, Senior Research Director at TowerGroup and author of the August 2009 report.

Case management, the backbone of documenting investigations, provides information for financial reporting, such as fraud losses, and is the primary resource for filing regulatory reports to government agencies. In addition, the disposition of cases under investigation is a critical element to enhance future monitoring and overall operational efficiencies of the organization.

Other advantages of SAS Enterprise Case Management include integrating information from siloed monitoring systems used by other lines of business, products, or channels. The system offers a triage queue where users can review work items sent to the system automatically prior to appending to an existing case, creating a new case, or closing the work item. SAS Enterprise Case Management pre-populates forms and automatically prepares batch reports to help the user meet e-filing standards for regulatory submission. The system includes interactive dashboards that enable management to analyze operational performance of investigative functions and recognize trends to provide improved oversight and governance of risk management practices.

Today’s announcement came at The Premier Business Leadership Series event in Las Vegas, a business conference presented by SAS that brings together more than 600 attendees from the public and private sectors to share ideas on critical business issues.

1. TowerGroup. The Evolution of Case Management: Converging Fraud, Risk, and Opportunity Management, Rodney Nelsestuen, August 31, 2009.

About SAS

Back to Recent SAS Press Releases

SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions delivered within an integrated framework, SAS helps customers at more than 45,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world The Power to Know® .

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