The European Union has drafted a proposal for a directive which aims to improve and harmonise IT security across the Union.
Presented by Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, the purpose of this proposed directive is to combat cybercrime and provide better data protection by ensuring “a high common level of network and information security across the Union”.
Each member state will set up a complete cybersecurity infrastructure with its own CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team), and data controllers would be obliged to report any breaches of personal data. Furthermore, operators in the following sectors would have to adopt certain measures to manage security risks and report incidents:
In its latest National Defence and Security white paper published in April, the French government includes legal provisions to increase the responsibility of providers of critical services and infrastructures (both public and private) to detect, report and manage any IT incidents affecting critical systems. The proposed legislation will “set forth the rights and responsibilities of public and private organisations with respect to auditing, mapping their IT system, reporting incidents, as well as the powers of the country’s national IT security agency and other government bodies to intervene in the event of serious breaches.”
In addition to the legislation, the government also plans to increase awareness of potential threats and encourage best practices and training for IT security experts.
Ahead of the EU directive, the British government, meanwhile, has announced plans to launch a new cyber security programme. The aim of the programme, to which the Strategic Defence and Security Review has allocated £650 million (around €760 million), is to strengthen the UK’s cyber capacity.
Smartphone and tablet users are under increasing threat from malicious URLs, spams and replacement mobiles.
After using applications from downloading sites to infect mobile devices, hackers are now adopting new intrusion techniques such as malicious URLs, which users click on faster than on a PC, phishing via SMS (‘smishing’) and USB sticks.
Attacks increased 163% in 2012 on Android devices alone and 32.8 million of these were infected with malware, according to NQ Mobile. A quarter of these were designed to steal and use users’ personal data. Android, the most widely-used mobile OS (70% of global market share), accounted for 79% of all mobile device threats in 2012, according to a report by F-Secure, compared with just 0.7% for iOS and 0.3% for BlackBerry.
The global market for security software for mobile devices grew more than 58% in 2012 to almost one $ billion. It is estimated to reach $3 billion by 2017, according to Infonetic Research, which reflects both business’ and end-users’ growing awareness of the importance of mobile device security.
This trend is confirmed by a recent survey conducted in France, which revealed that 71% of smartphone or tablet users do not think their current devices have sufficient data protection and 73% agree that guaranteed data security would be a key factor when purchasing their next handset.
Businesses operating a BYOD policy can limit the risk of their corporate network being infected by implementing an MDM solution and alerting users to potential risks. However, warns BlackBelt, a British company specialising in mobile device security software, malware can come from replacement mobiles sent as a result of insurance claims, as such devices are usually refurbished.
Hackers are raising the alarm on the security issues of smart meters and connected glasses.
White hat hackers have officially published their research into the privacy issues associated with smart meters – and the results are rather alarming. When assessing the security of such systems, they were able to intercept customer IDs and access and edit non encrypted data from the meters.
By sending data to a central server every two seconds, all the connected devices in a household (PCs, connected TVs, etc.) can provide a wealth of information about its occupants, their consumption patterns, whether they’re at home or away and what TV programmes they watch. More disturbing still are the potential financial consequences of tampering with electricity readings. This is a particularly sensitive issue in the UK, France and Germany, where governments are planning widespread implementation of smart meters. The EU has thus called for stricter legislation with respect to consumer profiling: so far, the EDPS (European Data Protection Supervisor) has made the following recommendations:
- More guidance on the legal basis of the processing and the choices available to data subjects, including on the frequency of meter readings.
- Mandatory application of privacy-enhancing technologies.
- More guidance on data retention periods.
Another considerable source of controversy in the States is the imminent launch (possibly in 2014) of Google’s augmented reality glasses, Google Glass: its beta testers have already been banned from certain bars, clubs, casinos and cinemas in order to protect customer privacy. Schools, meanwhile, are anticipating students using the glasses to cheat, and the state of West Virginia is even looking to amend its legislation to ban the use of the headsets whilst driving.
A movement called Stop the Cyborg has been set up in response to Google Glass and similar technologies, encouraging people to protest against the increase of surveillance and privacy invasions.
According to Forbes, mobile OS developers have already figured out how to hack into Google Glass: the system has no authentication code, so hackers can access the data recorded by the headset’s camera (images, passwords, etc.), and basically know where you are, what you’re doing and what you’re saying.
In : Non classé13 May 2013
Manufacturers are fighting it out on the tablet market – with the notable exception of BlackBerry…
According to leaks from Taiwanese suppliers, Apple will be launching two new tablets by the end of the year. The iPad 5 (in the middle of the photo), is thinner, lighter and has a longer battery life than its predecessor. With a 9.7’’ display, it is said to be based on the iPad Mini and due to hit the shops in early autumn.
Meanwhile, Apple is rumoured to be announcing the launch of the iPad Mini 2, a smaller version with a 7.9-inch retina display, at the end of the year.
Samsung’s new 7-inch mini tablet (Wi-Fi version launched this month, whilst the 3G model is due to go on sale this summer), is aimed squarely at the entry-level market, with a dual-core processor, Android Jelly Bean, limited definition and 8 or 16 GB of storage.
The Surface Pro is set to be launched in Europe at the end of May. The professional version of the Surface tablet (pictured here) runs Windows 8 Pro and is a hybrid model, which can be used both as a laptop (physical keyboard, 11.6-inch monitor) and a tablet.
In July, Microsoft should also be launching a smaller version of its Surface tablet, with a 7.5-inch display, in an attempt to challenge other mini tablets such as the iPad Mini and Google’s Nexus 7.
After launching its new OS and the Z10 smartphone range at the beginning of the year (see the emedia article), will BlackBerry make another attempt to crack the tablet market after its Playbook failed to make an impact?
Rumour has it that the Canadian firm will be either having another go at the tablet market or exploring the phablet segment, one of the key trends at this year’s MWC in Barcelona – a rumour that was subsequently denied by BlackBerry’s CEO, Thorsten Heins, who predicted, on the contrary, that the tablet trend may die out within the next five years.
So how does Heins see the post-PC era? Big screens in the workplace, and better connectivity with large-format smartphones, according to an article in Trusted Reviews, in which Heins claims he sees BlackBerry eventually becoming “the absolute leader in mobile computing.”
Digital technologies and Big Data are transforming the jobs of CIOs and creating new functions.
That is basically the question that Wired attempts to answer in the article ‘’Does Big Data Mean the Demise of Expert and Intuition?’’. The magazine gives a nuanced answer to this question. The advent of data has changed the value of knowledge. But Wired reassuringly stresses the importance of the human touch. It’s true that knowledge, experience, interpretation have been disrupted by facts validated by artificial intelligence but “Big Data is not an ice-cold world of algorithms and automatons. Human creativity, instinct and genius fill up the empty spaces left by cold data“.
For Chief Information Officers, the digital age and its attendant Big Data have actually transformed their duties into that of Chief Digital Officer: more strategic, more cross functional, more in tune with business needs. They are also expected to have new qualities, such as a spirit of leadership, entrepreneurial spirit and a sense of innovation (See e-media What does the future hold for CIOs ; Roles and skills: CIOs advise CIOs).
Inherent in the new issues raised by data processing, “this new profile is a good idea but how is it supposed to work?” asks Forrester on his blog. First elements for an answer: the Chief Data Officer will not replace current CIOs or technical directors but will complete the company’s range of skills and become a key element of its Big Data strategy. But to whom does the Chief Data Officer report? The CIO or business departments? Forrester leaves these questions unanswered. And there’s no answer either in the ZDNet article (Tech jobs: CIOs look safe, IT managers face chop, chief digital officer is the next big thing) which however specifies that this type of profile is currently particularly relevant for sectors that handle extremely complex data such as banks and insurance companies.
In France, only Pierre Delort, President of ANDSI, the French National Association of CIOs, attempts to clarify the position. This expert analyses the role of the CDO as “‘a cross-disciplinary function that requires excellent knowledge of the company and who is assisted by a team of analysts and IT techs who collate the information and make it accessible for decision making”. With respect to skills, Pierre Delort emphasizes that in addition to technical skills, the CDO must have “a strong knowledge of inductive statistics, educational and communication qualities, be humble and broad minded enough to accept that decisions can also be taken on the basis of subjective criteria”.
… Data Scientist according to MIT. It may not actually be the sexiest job, but it is the job of the future. As a science that cuts across mathematics, statistics, computer and social sciences, data science could rapidly create 140,000 to 190,000 job opportunities in the United States according to McKinsey.
And according to Wired, you don’t even need a PhD in mathematics or physics to be a data scientist. “A good understanding of mathematics is of course essential”, says one of the people interviewed, “but understanding why we use them is more important, just as having a curious mind and keeping abreast of innovations in the sector”.
Investments, decision-making, competitiveness … Big Data is revolutionizing businesses. What the specialists have to say.
Future investments in Big Data technologies or services is certainly one place area where the impact of the phenomenon can be clearly measured. According to an SAS study, 12% of companies have already developed a Big Data strategy and 70% reportedly have a short-term project.
Although these percentages reflect a limited reality (the survey was carried out with 339 managers), they give an idea of what the Big Data market can represent in terms of investment orientations and overall opportunities for the sector’s stakeholders.
Gartner estimates the spending generated directly or indirectly by Big Data within three years at $232 billion versus $96 billion in 2012. Gartner also anticipates that 42% of Global 1000 businesses will invest in a Big Data project by 2013. Meanwhile, IDC is expecting + 39.4% annual growth on the Big Data market between 2010 and 2015.
According to Forbes, 60% of managerial teams already use internal data analyses routinely in the decision-making process. Based on this figure, the magazine claims that businesses have evolved from ”governance by instinct to governance by data“.
But will decision making rely on a lack of comprehensive pertinent data?
That is what is implied by the HP Autonomy survey. It noted that one manager out of two is frustrated with the weak information strategy of their firm and 2% of them only have the right information at the right time to make decisions. Why? Because their sources only glean information from the company’s structured data, says HP Autonomy, without factoring in a comprehensive vision of the company’s activity (supply chain, partners/suppliers/consumers, social networks, market context, etc.).
The study ends the survey with a presentation of a competitiveness index for companies with an efficient data management strategy: 30% boost in performance compared to the competition.
For Yann Gouvernec, Director at Orange Business, the validity of the data and its usefulness are crucial points. He writes on his blog Visionary Marketing & Innovation “that only 1% of data is used in decision making and that is perfectly normal” while adding a note of caution “I’m not overly fond of “big data” as a term, since it tends to present quantity (big) as quality and more importantly “data” as “information”, which of course is not true.”
Despite this warning, a Big Data process is certainly a value added tool for decision-making since it “exploits hidden information, e-mails, images, videos”, says Silicon.fr “while optimizing the company’s processes to ultimately strengthen the capacity of the company and its employees to make the right decisions”.
Although there are now solutions to purely technical problems such as storage for example, transforming the exploitation of these large volumes of data into a success story requires that we address issues such as meaning and their final purpose of “a process which…” according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers analyst, “… cannot be accomplished by IT alone (…) the project must be aligned on business objectives”.
In : News1 May 2013
Big Data appears to be a vector for savings in the healthcare sector and applicable to medical diagnosis.
This is what would happen for the US healthcare system if Big Data technologies were massively implemented according to the latest McKinsey report. Potentially reducing US health care costs estimated at $2.6 trillion by $450 billion is enough to get the sector excited and spark public debate.
How can Big Data allow such huge savings? By applying it to five major areas says McKinsey:
But we are not there yet and there are many obstacles to scale first.
On one hand, the volumes of recorded data that can be cross-referenced and used, anonymously of course, to extract meaningful information for healthcare professionals are already huge and likely to continue growing quasi exponentially. This data stems from research institutes, epidemiological centers, pharmaceutical laboratories, medical imaging centers, hospital records, insurance companies, client files, etc.
On the other hand, physicians already have access to medical diagnostic and decision-making tools (Manuals, data bases, statistics) but can neither compile and collate all the available information nor display all the latest updates. And that is where Big Data may play a key role by allowing the rapid use of the different types of data (structured, unstructured, numbers, written, videos) generated by multiple sources.
But there are serious obstacles to analyzing large volumes of data to leverage healthcare services:
- the interoperability of data and the security of the data hosted on different continents
- Training healthcare professionals in these new technologies
- The scientific value of electronically processed data
- The role of the physician’s instincts
- Respect for the human dimension in any professional caregiver/patient relationship.
Obstacles summarized in an article from LesEchos.fr with the views of Francis Lévi, member of the French Technologies Academy and director of Inserm. “Are doctors ready to accept advice from a computer, no matter how powerful? Personally, I’m not thrilled by that at all, says the scientist, first, because the idea of drawing up personalized decision trees leads to the risk of practicing medicine without doctors. Secondly, because the data published in the medical literature does not necessarily reflect the reality of medical practice, because it corresponds to patients who correspond to the criteria of the study. “
In : News30 Apr 2013
Although they haven’t been massively adopted, IT and especially marketing professionals are increasingly interested in Big Data technologies.
Already in 2012, based on the investments made by leading data stakeholders or estimates by analysts, we could measure the present and future macro-economic impact of Big Data (see e-media article: The Big Data boom ).
We now have new leads for measuring the greater awareness of IT professionals to this topic. In terms of quantity and quality, we can cite the recent success of the 2nd Big Data trade show in Paris Compared to the previous year, the number of exhibitors was multiplied by two, and the visitors by three. Organizers and participants found the conferences highly constructive, and discovered more innovative projects, all proving the “maturity of the phenomenon” concludes 01Business.
DataSift, a firm specialized in analyzing social networks took a different approach and decided to use big data to measure the general interest in big data. The firm studied references to Big Data on Twitter. Admittedly, the study was for promotional purposes, but the results have shed an interesting light, both on the Big Data phenomenon and on the marketing application of Big Data. For 2012, DataSift counted more than 2 million interactions generated by nearly one million members and noticed a 25% increase in tweets in the second half of 2012, mostly people sharing their knowledge about Big Data.
The results of DataSift also mention the most tweeted brands and products according to countries and also the most shared media sources. These are all interesting leads with numerous learning opportunities for Big Data stakeholders who would like to fine-tune their communication strategy on Twitter or on online media.
“Big Data, la nouvelle arme pour ne pas rater sa cible” (Big Data, the new weapon to hit your target), or “What do Marketers Want From Big Data?”, behind these titles from La Tribune and E-marketer lie the question of the revolution created by Big Data for marketing.
Specialists explain in an article from La Tribune: “Big Data will sign the death warrant of the average consumer” and promote “the age of individual consumers“; “It’s an in-depth change, a true revolution in how marketers work as they now have to integrate new variables such as time, place or even the weather (…) The critical challenge is how to model consumer behavior in a predictive approach. The aim is to offer more contextualized and more personalized services”.
The study by E-marketer confirms the interest of professionals for predictive behavioral analysis, a more specific targeting and monitoring of consumers which is transforming the traditional reflexes of marketers.
Big Data therefore appears to be a disruptive technology for the marketing sector which should not, however, ignore certain basic principles warns Clive Humby, a British specialist in marketing for large stores such as Tesco: “selling good products, using consumer data with their consent and giving them a direct benefit”.
Several major brands and retailers have shifted from intentions to action. Already held up as an example for its transition to the connected store (e-media article Digital store: veterans teach the digital natives a thing or two), the highly traditional British brand Burberry, has been praised again by Forbes for its Big Data strategy and the interconnection of its customer data to create a new relationship, geared towards customized service to strengthen the bond between customers and the brand.
To amplify this phenomenon of bonding with the digital audience, the Australian Open decided to implement a Big Data approach in 2013. The event organizers began by analyzing the behavior of tennis fans, their favorite players and the chattiest social networks on the subject. They then implemented a multi-channel strategy and installed adequate IT resources to handle viewing peaks and allow fans to interact with the event in real time.
The organizers went even further by providing match and video analysis securely online to players and their coaches. Initiatives which, according to the CIO of the Australia Open “demonstrate how Big Data will continue to transform the way our fans consume, watch and interact with tennis and other sports. Big Data is also transforming the game for players and coaches”.
Storing, securing and analyzing personal and non-personal data demands huge IT investments and generates costs for collectors and operators.
Since 2007, billions of dollars have been spent on datacenters. In 2012, total worldwide spending in the sector was estimated at more than $135 billion. In 2007, Google invested €2.4 billion in datacenters, while Facebook spent $1 billion in 2011.
Admittedly, these sums are not just for managing private data alone, they also help to maintain the ecosystem of these networks, based primarily on the value of each user.
Frequently reprimanded by computer monitoring and consumer protection authorities, the industry majors are not above the law when it comes to breaching confidentiality rules or using private data.
Examples of recent high-profile cases include, in 2009, the €20 million fine paid by Facebook in the United States for posting an advertising application that was considered too intrusive. In 2013, Mark Zuckerberg’s network is once again under scrutiny in Europe and may have to pay several hundreds of thousands of euros to six European Union countries.
Recently, Google was ordered to pay $7M in theUSAand engage in a comprehensive employee education program about the privacy or confidentiality of user data. This settlement began with the complaint filed by 37 American States against Google Street View vehicles collecting private WiFi payload data. Although this settlement negotiated by the 2 parties will barely dent Google’s financial armour (the company posted 2012 revenues up by 32% in one year to $50 billion), it still serves as a warning.
For other would-be offenders, the sanctions may jeopardize the future of their organisation. And that is exactly what happened to Path, a startup offering private social networking services created in 2010, with a bright future and in search of new capitalisations. Path has six million users and was fined $800,000 in 2013 by the US Federal Trade Commission for collecting personal information on children under 13 years of age. This was a rather critical precedent for the image and assumed value of the company, and for its venture capitalists.
What is the value of personal data for the company once it is hacked? What happened to the Play Station Network gives us an idea of the magnitude of this phenomenon. In April 2011, Sony went through two very bad days: its Play Station Network was hacked and the personal details and banking data of its 77 million users stolen. This led to a worldwide service outage lasting several weeks. According to Wikipedia, Sony estimates the total costs incurred by the outage in damages paid, loss of customers to other rival products, legal actions, settlements, loss of share value , etc. at $170 million.
According to a study by BCG (The Value of Our Digital Identity), the data sector “where digital identity is the key to business” has enormous growth potential in terms of investment in infrastructures, data security applications and data analysis software and technologies. After posting annual growth of 15% between 2009 and 2011, European digital players could be worth some €330 billion euros by 2020.
E-media articles on personal data
Econocom is currently a European provider of services for integrating and financing digital solutions. With its complementary areas of expertise (distribution , leasing , services and telecoms), Econocom assists businesses in transforming their IT systems and managing digital projects. Operating in 18 countries, Econocom Group employs 3,700 people and posted revenue of €1,538 million.
For further information : www.econocom.com