Solutions Blog

How Machine Learning is making you smarter on game day

By Richard Arneson

As a sports fans, we’ve gotten very, very spoiled. Getting somebody under 30 years of age to imagine life without ESPN broadcasting sports 24x7x365 is like pondering life without smart phones. For a fun point of reference, take a look at a TV broadcast of a football game from the sixties; you can actually see the mylar sheet on which the score is printed waving slightly. Now, consider what sports fans are enjoying just fifty (50) years later.

We live in the Madden NFL era, where video games not only allow us to play armchair quarterback, but get into the action without the torn ACLs or brain trauma. And those rudimentary stats provided by unsophisticated box scores in the morning’s sports page are now provided instantaneously while you’re watching. And they’re anything but rudimentary.

Yes, it’s a great time to be a sports fan, and much of the phenomenal experience is provided to you from the world of machine learning.

NextGen Stats and AWS

In an attempt to buoy its brand and attempt to grow viewership, which has been on a slow, steady decline for a few years, the NFL is searching for new, cutting-edge ways to get fan in seats, both at the stadium and in front of man cave Flat Screens.

Prior to last season, the NFL followed Major League Baseball’s lead and selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) to become its official technology partner. Like MLB’s Statcast, AWS cloud and its machine learning technology deliver NextGen Stats, which is a sports statistics program developed by Zebra Technologies.

Real-time location data, including speed and acceleration for each player, is gathered from sensors scattered about stadiums that track tags affixed to players’ shoulder pads. Algorithms collect the data and integrate it fast enough to be used for live broadcasts. It allows for the tracking of each player’s movements down to the inch. But, more importantly, that information is passed on to viewers. In addition, chips are inserted into footballs, so viewers and team management can more easily determine if a punter needs to work on hang time or a QB needs to perfect his mechanics throwing particular routes.

The data is analyzed on AWS and provides stats unique to each player, including, for instance, how well a wide receiver is at getting open or how effective the offensive line is at protecting their quarterback. And it’s not just for the fans; the teams are enjoying the insights that AWS cloud-based machine learning can provide to their organization.

NextGen Stats attempts to bring to live football games what the Madden NFL Video game has for years—ways to better visualize the action on the field and gain deeper insights. And, from that, maybe help you win your fantasy football league championship.

It’s been around longer than you’d think

The NFL actually began tracking player movement through RFID tags with Zebra Technologies over five (5) years ago. It was unpublicized, perhaps intentionally, because it wasn’t used to enhance the fan experience. At that time, only teams utilized the technology, and were only given information about their own organization. They primarily used the information to track and monitor players’ recovery processes. For example, teams would try and identify whether players were overexerting themselves during pre-game workups by monitoring the times it took them to run pass routes during the game.

Wondering how AI and machine learning can benefit your organization?

If you’d like to learn about how GDT’s design engineers and solutions architects turn traditional, legacy infrastructures into innovative, agile machines that make customers more competitive, help them bring applications to market faster, and deliver a superior customer experience, contact them at SolutionsArchitects@gdt.com or Engineering@gdt.com. They’ve worked closely with trusted partner AWS to deliver the many benefits the cloud provides to organizations of all sizes and from a variety of industries. They’d love to hear from you.

You can read more about how to digitally transform your infrastructure here:

Nvidia drops big chunk of change to round out its data center strategy

Intelligence limited only by your architectural imagination

Data growth— how to store all those 1’s and 0’s

Storage—software style

Thank God I’m a country boy…as long as I get broadband

A road less traveled…than you’d think

The four (4) horsemen of HCI

Who doesn’t want to Modernize?

Workshops uncover insights into the state of IT and Digital Transformation

What is Digital Transformation?

The only thing we have to fear is…definitely not automation

Without application performance monitoring, your IoT goals may be MIA

When implementing a new technology, don’t forget this word

Automation and Autonomics—the difference is more than just a few letters

Is Blockchain a lie detector for the digital age?

If you fall victim to it, you won’t end up marking it as “like”

They were discovered on Google Play, but this is no game

Blockchain; it’s more than just Bitcoin

When being disruptive is a good thing

Introducing your cyberthreat starting lineup

By Richard Arneson

It’s March. The lion is slowly morphing into a lamb, with warmer temps and sun screen to follow. March Madness is days away. Almost seventy (70) college games will soon test your flat screen’s durability. But you don’t have to wait for any brackets to find out who’s starting in this particular tournament, which lasts far longer than a fortnight. It’s an ongoing battle of the boards that takes place each second of every single day. It’s the ongoing fight to secure networks and keep vital data out of the hands of the following players.

Please direct your attention to center court. It’s time to introduce the Cyberthreat starting lineup.

At point guard, a veteran at unknowingly risking the security posture of virtually every business, organization and government on the planet—users.

As you’ve probably heard countless times, user error is the largest threat actor in the cyberthreat starting lineup. Whether it’s IT departments lacking the needed security skill sets to fend off attackers, too many unnecessary privileges being granted, or somebody absentmindedly clicking on a link in an email, internal errors are killers.

But users don’t always act unknowingly. Consider the disgruntled current or ex-employee. If they don’t adhere to the “never burn your bridges” workplace philosophy, they may just want a pound of data flesh. And they’ve even been known to collaborate with organized crime—even governments—to gain information or a big cash payout.

In late 2018, a scientist at biotechnology firm Genentech sold trade secrets to a rival company, which allowed them to manufacture generic versions of Genentech pharmaceuticals.

At the off-guard, an angry-at-the-world, politically-driven menace—the hacktavist.

These ne’er-do-wells are politically motivated so, naturally, making the most noise possible is a core motivator. Whether it’s publicly making a statement about their cause du jour or attacking a business or organization they feel has wronged them or the public at large, hacktavists have a delusional belief that they’re lauded by many. Hactavists attacked extramarital dating site Ashley Madison and divulged that names of tens of millions of members.

At small forward, the well-funded and cyber sophisticated—government-sponsored cyberthreat.

Government-led cyberthreats can count as their motivation a broad list of reasons, from economic, military, political…you name it. A year ago, the U.S. and the U.K. issued a joint statement blaming Russia for a series of cyberattacks. The Department of Justice a few weeks ago “shot down” a North Korean launched botnet. A Norwegian software company revealed that hackers form China’s ministry of State Security attempted to steal clients’ trade secrets. It was discovered that Iran had for years launched global DNS hijacking attacks against the Middle East, Europe, and North America. The Mexican government used spyware to target colleagues of a slain journalist investigating drug cartels. Six (6) months ago, different governments from at least forty-five (45) countries deployed spyware against targets in the U.S., France, Canada, and the UK.

That is a miniscule number of examples of government-sponsored cyber attacks. The list is exhausting. Cyber Warfare is the new battleground.

At power forward, and borrowing from a menacing label that dates back decades—organized crime.

Organized crime, whether you’re talking cyber threats or Capone-era Chicago, ultimately exists for a single purpose—illegal profits. The former types are the ones trying to get your logins and passwords, social security numbers, credit card information and health records. They’re the launchers of ransomware, bots and trojans. They’ve lately turned more and more to credential stuffing. And when a better mousetrap is built to stop them, they build a better, smarter mouse.

At center, a starter, but a less publicized or feared cybercriminal—the script kiddie.

These are the amateurs, usually working alone with a bag of chips and a Mountain Dew at their side, who use existing code they’ve found on the dark web to launch their attacks. They don’t develop their own tools; they’re wannabes and generally don’t do extensive damage, but want to prank websites for grins. However, there have been a few noteworthy attacks, like a DDoS event that crippled Yahoo a few years back.

A cybercrime-fighting team that’s been winning for years

To find out how to shore up your organization’s security posture, contact GDT’s tenured and talented engineers and security analysts at SOC@GDT.com. From their Security and Network Operations Centers, they manage, monitor and protect the networks of organizations of all sizes, including those for some of the most notable enterprises, service providers, healthcare organizations and government agencies in the world. They’d love to hear from you.

If you want more information about network security, cyberattacks and how to combat the cyberthreat starting lineup, read more about it here:

Death and Taxes—and you can add this to the mix

If you doubled down on Russia, your bet’s safe

What happens in an ATM, doesn’t always stay in an ATM

Google launches itself into cybersecurity space

Getting Stuffed at Dunkin’ Donuts?

Security Myths Debunked

State of the Union address focuses on technology–briefly

The technology arms race was just amped up

Apparently, cyber attackers also consider imitation to be the sincerest form of flattery

Last week’s DHS “alert” upgraded to “an emergency directive”

The Collection #1 data breach—sit down first; the numbers are pretty scary

Shutdown affects more than workers

DDoS Attacks will deny a Massachusetts Man Ten (10) years of Freedom

Phishing for Apples

This isn’t fake news

Don’t get blinded by binge-watching

Mo Money, Mo Technology―Taylor Swift uses facial recognition at concerts

Step aside all ye crimes—there’s a new king in town

Q & A for a Q & A website: Quora, what happened?

They were discovered on Google Play, but this is no game

And in this corner…

Elections are in, but there’s one (1) tally that remains to be counted

Hiring A Hacker Probably Shouldn’t Be Part of Your Business Plan

Gen V

Sexy, yes, but potentially dangerous

Tetration—you should know its meaning

It’s in their DNA

When SOC plays second fiddle to NOC, you could be in for an expensive tune

How to protect against Ransomware

Nvidia drops big chunk of change to round out its data center strategy

By Richard Arneson

Today, Nvidia, the Santa Clara, CA-based technology company best known for popularizing the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), announced that it will purchase Mellanox Technologies for a whisker under $7 billion. Nvidia will pay $125 per share for the provider of fast interconnect products, which is a fifteen percent (15%) premium over its closing price on Friday.

Nvidia outbid chipmaker rival Intel and sees the purchase of Mellanox and its InfiniBand interconnect technology as the perfect complement to its computing platform. Mellanox, which generated revenues of approximately $1 billion in 2018, pioneered InfiniBand (IB), which, along with its Ethernet products, are used in over half the world’s supercomputers and in many hyperscale data centers.

With the Mellanox purchase, Nvidia will be able to optimize data center-sized workloads across the entire networking, compute and storage stacks, resulting in greater utilization, higher performance and lower operating costs for customers. Both companies are counting on their performance-centric cultures to make integration seamless.

Definitely not hostile

Nvidia and Mellanox have been working together for years. In fact, they collaborated on building Sierra and Summit, the two (2) fastest computers in the world, both of which are utilized by the U.S. Department of Energy. In addition, most of the world’s top cloud providers use both Nvidia GPUs and Mellanox interconnects.

According to Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang, “The emergence of AI and data science, as well as billions of simultaneous computer users, is fueling skyrocketing demand on the world’s datacenters. Addressing this demand will require holistic architectures that connect vast numbers of fast computing nodes over intelligent networking fabrics to form a giant data center-scale compute engine.

“We’re excited to unite Nvidia’s accelerated computing platform with Mellanox’s world-renowned accelerated networking platform under one roof to create next-generation datacenter-scale computing solutions. I am particularly thrilled to work closely with the visionary leaders of Mellanox and their amazing people to invent the computers of tomorrow.”

According to Mellanox founder and CEO Eyal Waldman, “We share the same vision for accelerated computing as Nvidia. Combining our two companies comes as a natural extension of our longstanding partnership and is a great fit given our common performance-driven cultures. This combination will foster the creation of powerful technology and fantastic opportunities for our people.”

In the opening minutes of today’s trading, Nvidia’s shares were market 0.25% higher and traded at $151 each. Mellanox shares rose 8.8% to $119 each, a move that would increase their six-month gain over 55%.

Looking to transform and modernize your data center?

If you’d like to learn about how GDT’s design engineers and solutions architects turn traditional data centers into innovative, agile machines that make customers more competitive, help them bring applications to market faster, and deliver a superior customer experience, contact them at SolutionsArchitects@gdt.com or Engineering@gdt.com. They help customers enjoy an agile, service-oriented data center that’s highly automated and virtualized, and can easily scale up or down to perfectly accommodate their needs.

You can read more about how to digitally transform your infrastructure here:

Intelligence limited only by your architectural imagination

Data growth— how to store all those 1’s and 0’s

Storage—software style

Thank God I’m a country boy…as long as I get broadband

A road less traveled…than you’d think

The four (4) horsemen of HCI

Who doesn’t want to Modernize?

Workshops uncover insights into the state of IT and Digital Transformation

What is Digital Transformation?

The only thing we have to fear is…definitely not automation

Without application performance monitoring, your IoT goals may be MIA

When implementing a new technology, don’t forget this word

Automation and Autonomics—the difference is more than just a few letters

Is Blockchain a lie detector for the digital age?

If you fall victim to it, you won’t end up marking it as “like”

They were discovered on Google Play, but this is no game

Blockchain; it’s more than just Bitcoin

When being disruptive is a good thing

Here’s a way to speed up binge watching

By Richard Arneson

Five million HD movies. That’s how many can now be downloaded in a single second. That translates to 26.2 terabits of data each tick of the clock, which is the record recently set by Infinera, an optical communications equipment manufacturer based in Sunnyvale, California. What may be even more surprising is that it was set while speeding down a 4,104-mile, undersea optical cable stretched from Virginia Beach, VA. to the coastal town of Balboa, Spain.

The cable has a name—Marea. It’s owned by Microsoft, Facebook and Telxius, a Spanish telecommunications company. Marea is one (1) of an estimated three hundred seventy-eight (378) undersea cables crisscrossing the planet’s largest bodies of water. It’s about the width of a garden hose and houses eight (8) pairs of optical fibers. The entire assembly, all 4,104 miles of it, weighs over 10 million pounds. Try dragging that garden hose to your front yard on watering day.

Some other interesting Marea tidbits

  • It takes thirty-three (33) milliseconds for a photon of light to travel from Virginia Beach to Balboa. And if you think your Internet connection at home or at the office is humming along, average Internet speeds operate at approximately 0.00025 terabits per second. Pretty humbling.
  • The deepest ocean depth Marea reaches is 17,000 feet, or about 3.2 miles.
  • If HD movies are beneath you, you’ll have to settle on Marea delivering a mere 800,000 Ultra HD flicks.
  • Marea shattered the maximum data rate by about thirty percent (30%), or over 6 terabits per second. That mark could only handle a paltry 4 million HD movies. That’s like Usain Bolt knocking (3) seconds off his 100-meter record time of 9.58 seconds.

I’m glad you asked

The elephant in the room is how a maximum data rate can be exceeded, and by thirty percent (30%), no less. Doesn’t sound doable. It is.

Infinera implemented multiple wavelengths on a single optical chip. This allowed them to pack more wavelengths onto a single optical strand. Then, they transmitted each wavelength as a set of subcarriers, which allowed them to pack the fiber with even more wavelengths. The stuffed fiber, which was still only the thickness of a single strand of hair, allowed Infinera to claim the title.

For questions, turn to these optical networking experts

If you have questions or would like more information about fiber optics or optical networking, contact GDT’s Optical Networking practice professionals at Optical@gdt.com. Composed of experienced optical engineers, solutions architects and project managers who specialize in optical networks, the GDT Optical Networking team supports some of the largest service providers and enterprises in the world. They’d love to hear from you.

For additional reading about the greatness of fiber optics, check these out:

Just another day in the life of fiber optics

Don’t sell fiber optics short—what it can also deliver is pretty amazing

A fiber optic first

When good fiber goes bad

Busting myths about fiber optics

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better 

And see how GDT’s talented and tenured Optical Networking team provided an optical solution, service and support for one (1) of the world’s largest social media companies:

When a redundancy plan needs…redundancy

This one’s no leak, and may not carry any more water

By Richard Arneson

It’s a rather un-Republication notion, but it’s resurfacing again after having first been mentioned, or rather leaked, in a White House email in early 2018—government involvement in the race to 5G.

This plan calls for taking wireless spectrum from the U.S. DoD (Department of Defense) and, through a 3rd party, making it available to wireless providers at a reduced rate. Many believe it’s a political move to curry favor with rural voters, who would get 5G faster with a little nudge from Uncle Sam.

According to Brad Parscale, Trump’s Campaign Manager for the 2020 election, “America must harness the power of capital markets and private sector to fund and build a state-of-art wholesale 5G network that is a model for the world. The government has underutilized spectrum it should share for the purpose. Americans deserve access to affordable wireless.”

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr is no more enamored by this recent proposal than he was when the memo was leaked a year ago. He cites a lack of government involvement as a primary reason that the United States won the race to 4G. In it, he said, spectrum was freed up for commercial use and infrastructure rules were modernized. He sees no reason why the same won’t work for 5G. He fears that government involvement could limit competition and result in its control over the Internet. Carr believes that government-led spectrum wholesaling would result in wireless providers limiting their investment once spectrum becomes more commoditized. It’s not that he doesn’t think the government should play a role in 5G, but in partnership with providers and standards bodies roles, not in ownership of spectrum.

Wireless carriers, including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint have yet to weigh in on this proposal, but they’ll likely align with their feelings from a year ago. They don’t like it and don’t want it. The leaked 5G plan from a year ago involved the U.S. government building a brand spankin’ new wireless network.

It’s a no-go, says former National Security Council official

Robert Spalding sees the benefits of government-led championing of 5G, not surprising considering he wrote the leaked memo while an official in the National Security Council. But as the current senior fellow at the Hudson Institute focused primarily on U.S.—China relations, he says it won’t happen, period, because doing so would require the military to share its airwaves.

“At the end of the day,” says Spalding, “An agency like the Department of Defense would have to step up and say this is absolutely required for national security. I know that DoD has no interest in using any kind of department resources in making this is a priority.”

Mobility questions? These folks have the answers

If you have questions about your organization’s current mobility strategy (or the one you’d like to implement) and how 5G will affect it, contact GDT’s Mobility Solutions experts at Mobility_Team@gdt.com. They’re comprised of experienced solutions architects and engineers who have implemented mobility solutions for some of the largest organizations in the world. They’d love to hear from you.

Intelligence limited only by your architectural imagination

By Richard Arneson

Imagine a world where you come home and toss your car keys, jacket, clothes, wallet, et al., into a bin that would smartly send each to where it belongs—closet, key hook, shoved under the bed, etc. The next morning, when you’re getting ready for the new day, everything is exactly where it should be. No more fishing around for items vying to make you ashamedly late for your 8 AM meeting. Sound too good to be true? Well, it is, at least at home. But in the IT world, not so much.

The IDC estimates that within the next six (6) years—by 2025—the amount of data will reach a hundred sixty-three (163) zettabytes. That’s about two thousand percent (2,000%) more than today’s tally. Organizations that know how to use their proliferation of data will be able to better develop new sources of revenue and service customers, and become more competitive. That’s where Intelligent storage steps in.

It’s more than intelligent; it’s a game changer

As its name suggest, intelligent storage is just that. Through Al and machine learning, intelligent storage learns—intelligently, of course—behaviors and adapts to its environment. The result is easier, better management of the mountains of data your organization produces daily. Intelligent storage helps you extract actionable insights, understand where data can be best positioned and provides recommended actions, or automatically makes them, while allowing your IT organization to focus on other projects or initiatives. It can be deployed as hardware on-prem, as a virtual appliance or as a cloud service.

The less-than-intelligent traditional storage system

Traditional storage systems place no priority on certain types of data, which means when it’s needed the time-consuming, cumbersome search begins. And depending on the data (see sensitive), it can be nerve rattling, as well. Intelligent storage removes these headaches; it understands workloads and what they need, adapts to changes and makes it easy to support and manage.

When data was stored primarily in datacenters, it did its job pretty well. But data has moved far outside the datacenter perimeter. Now it exists everywhere—in private and public clouds, and at the network edge in mobile devices, sensors, even vehicles. And that data needs to be moved to where it can be processed and easily accessible to the end users who need it, and need it now. Tackling today’s data demands with traditional storage is like taking a broken abacus into a CPA exam.

In the cloud, in the datacenter, at the edge—that’s Intelligent Storage

Two (2) years ago, The Economist made this now famous proclamation: “Data are to this century what oil was to the last one: a driver of growth and change.” It’s difficult to argue the point, except for one (1) small thing—the oil supply is limited; we’re slowly running out. Data is the exact opposite. Not only will it continue to grow, but it’ll do so exponentially. So, isn’t it important to know how to best store, transfer, access, analyze and secure it?

Make an intelligent decision about Intelligent Storage—give these folks a call

If you’d like to learn more about how intelligent storage can get your data where it needs to be, so it can be easily accessed, organized and analyzed, contact the storage experts at GDT. For years they’ve been helping customers of all sizes, and from a wide array of industries, realize their digital transformation goals by designing and deploying innovative, cutting-edge solutions that shape their organizations and help them realize positive business outcomes. Contact them at SolutionsArchitects@gdt.com or at Engineering@gdt.com. They’d love to hear from you.

You can read more about how to digitally transform your infrastructure here:

Data growth— how to store all those 1’s and 0’s

Storage—software style

Thank God I’m a country boy…as long as I get broadband

A road less traveled…than you’d think

The four (4) horsemen of HCI

Who doesn’t want to Modernize?

Workshops uncover insights into the state of IT and Digital Transformation

What is Digital Transformation?

The only thing we have to fear is…definitely not automation

Without application performance monitoring, your IoT goals may be MIA

When implementing a new technology, don’t forget this word

Automation and Autonomics—the difference is more than just a few letters

Is Blockchain a lie detector for the digital age?

If you fall victim to it, you won’t end up marking it as “like”

They were discovered on Google Play, but this is no game

Blockchain; it’s more than just Bitcoin

When being disruptive is a good thing

Death and Taxes—and you can add this to the mix    

By Richard Arneson

The phrase is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, who coined it after the U.S. Constitution was signed in 1787—“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Two hundred thirty-two (232) years later, Ben’s somewhat cynical quote can be amended to include “…and falling victim to a cyberattack.”

Today, the attack surface is so broad and the evildoers too plentiful to totally escape from becoming a target. Security is a multi-pronged approach that needs regular testing, consistent monitoring and ongoing employee education. If changing passwords or patching solves ninety-five percent (95%) of your security exposure(s), that’s great. That’s a high percentage. But it’s that five percent (5%) that’ll kill you.

Patch and Policy Management

The WannCry ransomware attack of 2017 infected a quarter million computers worldwide and racked up an estimated $8 billion in damages. But two (2) months prior to the WannaCry assault, Microsoft released a patch that would have protected victims against it. Obviously, many organizations didn’t apply it. So, it’s pretty simple. Patch systems, servers, firewalls, et al. Patches aren’t issued for kicks and grins. Here’s a good start: get vulnerability reports automatically pushed to you by clicking here.

Educate employees

You’ve heard it time and again because it’s true—employees are the weakest link in your organization’s security chain. A solid security posture isn’t dependent solely on one (1) department. It’s everybody’s issue and responsibility.

And senior executives must get behind this training initiative. But it’s not just about the basics, like telling employees not to open emails and/or links from unknown senders. For the training to accomplish its goals, leaders within the IT organization need to better educate themselves on threats, both past and current, and ensure the curriculum comprehensively covers the many ways in which organizations are breached, including how they can be prevented.

Automation for regulatory requirements

The regulatory climate is highly complex, especially for certain industries, such as the financial sector and healthcare. Trying to manually manage compliance can open organizations up to penalties from which they may never recover. The answer can often lie in automation and utilizing it to address elements that exist in multiple regulations. For instance, different elements have begun to converge, such as cybersecurity and fraud prevention. If each is included in separate regulatory requirements, they may be able to both be addressed through automation, which will provide accuracy and speed to these processes.

Suppliers

Data security isn’t just an internal issue. Consider supply chain management. It digitally intertwines organizations. If you’re entrusting customer data to a 3rd party, keep in mind that your security is only as good as theirs.

Test your security posture, then test it some more

When should you test your security plan? Early and often. Understand how it does and doesn’t work, where are improvements needed, and how your staff responded. Then, good or bad, share the information with senior leadership. Relaying the lessons learned can help run interference when you’re making the case for a larger security budget.

Backups

This is what can’t fail—period. And it must be regularly tested—no exceptions. It’s estimated that almost a third of companies don’t back up their critical data. Yikes. And, according to a year-old Boston Computing study, over fifty percent (50%) of companies that experience a significant data loss are forced to shut their doors within six (6) months. You must ensure your backup and (DR) disaster recovery plans are tried, tested and air tight.

Security Experts extraordinaire

To find out how to secure your organization’s network and protect its mission critical data, contact GDT’s tenured and talented engineers and security analysts at SOC@GDT.com. From their Security and Network Operations Centers, they manage, monitor and protect the networks of companies of all sizes, including those for some of the most notable enterprises, service providers, healthcare organizations and government agencies in the world. They’d love to hear from you.

If you want more information about network security, cyberattacks and how to stay steps ahead of the bad guys, read more about it here:

If you doubled down on Russia, your bet’s safe

What happens in an ATM, doesn’t always stay in an ATM

Google launches itself into cybersecurity space

Getting Stuffed at Dunkin’ Donuts?

Security Myths Debunked

State of the Union address focuses on technology–briefly

The technology arms race was just amped up

Apparently, cyber attackers also consider imitation to be the sincerest form of flattery

Last week’s DHS “alert” upgraded to “an emergency directive”

The Collection #1 data breach—sit down first; the numbers are pretty scary

Shutdown affects more than workers

DDoS Attacks will deny a Massachusetts Man Ten (10) years of Freedom

Phishing for Apples

This isn’t fake news

Don’t get blinded by binge-watching

Mo Money, Mo Technology―Taylor Swift uses facial recognition at concerts

Step aside all ye crimes—there’s a new king in town

Q & A for a Q & A website: Quora, what happened?

They were discovered on Google Play, but this is no game

And in this corner…

Elections are in, but there’s one (1) tally that remains to be counted

Hiring A Hacker Probably Shouldn’t Be Part of Your Business Plan

Gen V

Sexy, yes, but potentially dangerous

Tetration—you should know its meaning

It’s in their DNA

When SOC plays second fiddle to NOC, you could be in for an expensive tune

How to protect against Ransomware

Wish I may or wish I might, run which apps either on- or off-site?

By Richard Arneson

Utilizing a hybrid IT architecture—running some apps on-site, others in the cloud—may be far more common than you’d think. According to a recent survey of almost a thousand (<1,000) IT professionals, ninety-six percent (96%) use the cloud.

If you’re sold on the benefits of utilizing a hybrid IT infrastructure, you’ll no doubt hear from the on-prem naysayers who insist that traditional infrastructures can’t meet the ever-changing demands of the modern business world. Oh, and that purchasing everything upfront is cost prohibitive and not sustainable.

The cloud, they’ll insist, is the only thing that truly provides the rapid innovation needed today. They may act as if on-prem solutions have gone the way of the pager. Not so. Many new technologies are available that improve agility and lower costs, such as, to name a few, hyperconvergence, flash storage and containerization.

But here’s one (1) thing everyone will agree on—if you’re moving to a hybrid IT infrastructure, you’ll be faced with determining which applications should move to the cloud and which should remain on-prem. The following workloads are what many organizations and experts have determined aren’t ready to leave the on-prem nest.

CRMs, ERMs, Supply Chain

Revenue generation. The backbone of your organization’s IT infrastructure. Both define CRMs, ERMs and Supply Chain Management applications. Keeping them on-site will provide easier monitoring and management, and help ensure they’re up and running. If they aren’t, your organization may soon hemorrhage cash and lose loads of revenue.

Engineering

Engineering or more technical applications like those, for instance, that automate business processes can be rife with custom requirements that require a particular level of expertise and skill sets. And because they frequently involve intellectual property and may be subject to compliance or regulatory laws, security is critically important.

Unstructured Data Analytics

Any software that is used to gather and analyze the unstructured data that we use every day, such as email, rich media, reporting, invoicing, et al., is often maintained on-prem. While unstructured data doesn’t fit into traditional row and column databases, it comprises over seventy-five percent (75%) of the total data that organizations process on a daily basis.  Unstructured data analytics tools are used to turn that data into actionable insights. Running these tools on-site can provide the ability to respond to business needs faster and more securely.

Structured Data Management and Analytics

Structured data management software manages defined data kept in one (1) or more databases. Running workloads related to the management and analytics for structured data involves sensitive information, and running it in the public cloud can increase data exposure risk(s). And with the need to address regulatory and compliance laws, running these tools on-site can provide more security and peace of mind.

Moving to a hybrid IT infrastructure? Talk to these folks first

Migrating to a hybrid IT infrastructure is a big move. If you don’t have the right skill sets, expertise and experience on staff, the many benefits you’re counting on could fall well short of expectations.

That’s why turning to experienced experts like those at GDT can help make your hybrid IT dreams a reality. They hold the highest certifications in the industry and are experienced delivering and optimizing solutions from the IT industry’s premier, best-of-breed providers. They can be reached at CloudTeam@gdt.com. They’d love to hear from you.

If you’d like to learn more about the cloud─migrating to it, things to consider prior to a migration, or a host of other cloud-related topics—you can find them here:

Survey reveals organizations see the need to utilize more than one (1) public cloud service provider

Government Cloud adoption is growing, but at the rate of other industries?

The 6 (correctly spelled) R’s of a cloud migration

Are you Cloud Ready?

Calculating the costs–soft and hard–of a cloud migration

Migrating to the Cloud? Consider the following

And learn how GDT’s Cloud Team helped these organizations get the most out of their cloud deployments:

Assessment turns cloud hopes into a reality

A utility company reaps the benefits of the cloud…finally

A company’s cloud goals were trumped by a poor architecture

Government Agency turns to GDT to migrate mission critical apps to the cloud

If you doubled down on Russia, your bet’s safe

By Richard Arneson

In the event you’re keeping score at home, Russia sits atop the medal standings at the Hacker Olympics. And there’s no indication they’ll lose that top spot any time soon. Unfortunately, these olympics don’t happen every four (4) years. It’s a race that will never end.

In its latest threat report, CrowdStrike, the organization that uncovered Russia’s Democratic National Committee hacking prior to the 2016 election, has determined that Russia is leading the cybercrime pack against nearest competitors North Korea, Chinese and Iran.

It’s a timed event

This Hacker Olympics is comprised of only one (1) event, and it’s measured not with judges or style points, but in time. In this case, it’s called “Breakout time,” a measurement CrowdStrike created that refers to the time between the breach of the initial point of entry (starting line) to the network (finish line). Once the network is reached, the data theft can begin (we’ll call that the medal podium).

According to CrowdStrike, the average breakout time in 2018 was 4 hours and 37 minutes. They garnered these results from analyzing over 30,000 thwarted breach attempts among its customer base. Russia’s gold medal-winning speed? A frightening 18 minutes and 49 seconds.

Here’s how the others fared:

Silver Medal—North Korea (2 hours and 20 minutes)

Bronze Medal—China (4 hours)

Dishonorable Mentions—Iran (5 hours and 9 minutes); Organized criminal groups (9 hours and 42 minutes)

Eight times (8x) faster!

While Russia’s stunningly fast time is impressive—or, rather, scary—what’s probably more concerning is China’s precipitous increase targeting the United States. Russia’s attacks weren’t as prejudiced as China’s and evenly spanned the globe (lucky globe). North Korea’s were highly focused on revenue-generating attacks, and Iran’s were more focused on the Middle East and North African countries, primarily those also in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Don’t be a statistic in the Hacker Olympics

To find out how to secure your organization’s network and protect its mission critical data, contact GDT’s tenured and talented engineers and security analysts at SOC@GDT.com. From their Security and Network Operations Centers, they manage, monitor and protect the networks of companies of all sizes, including those for some of the most notable enterprises, service providers, healthcare organizations and government agencies in the world. They’d love to hear from you.

If you want more information about network security, cyberattack,s and how to stay at least one (1) step ahead of the bad guys, read more about it here:

What happens in an ATM, doesn’t always stay in an ATM

Google launches itself into cybersecurity space

Getting Stuffed at Dunkin’ Donuts?

Security Myths Debunked

State of the Union address focuses on technology–briefly

The technology arms race was just amped up

Apparently, cyber attackers also consider imitation to be the sincerest form of flattery

Last week’s DHS “alert” upgraded to “an emergency directive”

The Collection #1 data breach—sit down first; the numbers are pretty scary

Shutdown affects more than workers

DDoS Attacks will deny a Massachusetts Man Ten (10) years of Freedom

Phishing for Apples

This isn’t fake news

Don’t get blinded by binge-watching

Mo Money, Mo Technology―Taylor Swift uses facial recognition at concerts

Step aside all ye crimes—there’s a new king in town

Q & A for a Q & A website: Quora, what happened?

They were discovered on Google Play, but this is no game

And in this corner…

Elections are in, but there’s one (1) tally that remains to be counted

Hiring A Hacker Probably Shouldn’t Be Part of Your Business Plan

Gen V

Sexy, yes, but potentially dangerous

Tetration—you should know its meaning

It’s in their DNA

When SOC plays second fiddle to NOC, you could be in for an expensive tune

How to protect against Ransomware

Data growth—how to store all those new 1’s and 0’s

By Richard Arneson

Data growth–this chart is no exaggeration

According to a research study from InformationWeek and Interop ITX, the growth in data will accelerate by, on average, over twenty-five percent (25%). And over fifty percent (50%) of companies included in the study manage Terabytes of data, many up to ninety-nine (99) Terabytes. One percent (1%) manage over a Petabyte. And for all you data storage salespeople out there, how’s this news for building your storage sales funnel—well over half will increase their storage spend in the coming months.

One (1) of the issues that actually prevents companies from increasing that spend is the head-spinning number of options that can be utilized. They’re blinded by the storage light. Call it paralysis by analysis. But introducing you to the types of data storage you can utilize will hopefully (alliteration alert) provide the perfect prescription for your paralysis.

Cloud Storage

Using the cloud for anything is growing. It’s no different with storage. And why would it? According to a recent survey of almost a thousand (<1,000) IT professionals, it was discovered that ninety-six percent (96%) use the cloud.

Companies wanting scalability and cost savings are attracted to cloud storage. Yes, I know, everybody wants those, but if data grows precipitously, cloud storage may not be the best option. As needs increase, cost benefits can decrease. If this issue describes your organization, (NAS) Network Attached Storage may be a better option. But cloud storage is a great offsite backup solution, especially if your local storage solution fails you.

Two (2) other oft-mentioned issues with cloud storage concern security and performance, which is largely based on your Internet speed. But working with the right MSP and cloud provider should greatly mitigate these concerns.

Network Attached Storage (NAS)

By operating at the file level, NAS can connect to file-based protocols, such as NFS and CIFS, through a dedicated network appliance that manages storage and access. Devices connected to it aren’t limited to their own storage capacity, but, because the data is accessed via the network, its performance is dependent on the speed of the network and how it’s performing at the time. So, peak network usage may limit the storage performance of NAS.

Storage Area Networks (SANs)

SANs provide a centralized storage strategy that improves security, maintenance and fault tolerance. It’s a high-speed network providing access to shared data resources, and capacity can be easily, quickly and cheaply expanded. It can also mitigate some of the performance-related issues with NAS by providing multiple data paths and enhanced performance with segregated networks.

What stings some regarding SANs are upfront costs, but if you can get past that, its ability to share resources will save costs in the long run.

Direct Attached Storage (DAS)

Unlike SANs, DAS, as its name implies, is directly attached to servers, computers or other connected devices. So, storage enjoys high bandwidth and fast access speeds. But while it’s usually the cheapest storage option, it becomes less cost effective as storage requirements ramp up. Also, it’s more difficult to upgrade, as system-wide backups are required. And the data is siloed, making it more difficult to share and/or easily free up storage space. However, it’s a great option if storage requirements remain fairly constant or don’t grow exponentially.

Questions about how utilizing the right storage solution can greatly enhance your organization?

If you’d like to learn more about how to digitally transform your organization, talk to the expert solutions architects and engineers at GDT. For years they’ve been helping customers of all sizes, and from a wide array of industries, realize their digital transformation goals by designing and deploying innovative, cutting-edge solutions that shape their organizations and help them realize positive business outcomes. Contact them at SolutionsArchitects@gdt.com or at Engineering@gdt.com. They’d love to hear from you.

You can read more about how to digitally transform your infrastructure here:

Storage—software style

Thank God I’m a country boy…as long as I get broadband

A road less traveled…than you’d think

The four (4) horsemen of HCI

Who doesn’t want to Modernize?

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What is Digital Transformation?

The only thing we have to fear is…definitely not automation

Without application performance monitoring, your IoT goals may be MIA

When implementing a new technology, don’t forget this word

Automation and Autonomics—the difference is more than just a few letters

Is Blockchain a lie detector for the digital age?

If you fall victim to it, you won’t end up marking it as “like”

They were discovered on Google Play, but this is no game

Blockchain; it’s more than just Bitcoin

When being disruptive is a good thing