Entries by Alan Zeichick

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Read the top CISO priorities for 2020

“Training and recovery.” That’s where David McLeod, chief information security officer of Cox Enterprises, says that CISOs should spend their money in 2020. Training often focuses on making employees less of a security risk. That includes teaching them what not to click on and how to proactively protect the information that is a part of […]

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P2P payments go mainstream, and I am referenced

I was written about in “P2P Payments Go Mainstream in Canada,” by Pete Reville in PaymentsJournal: One of the biggest hurdles in the adoption of mobile payments is consumer comfort. That is to say, in order for consumers to adopt digital payments there has to be a level of trust, familiarity, and acceptance of digital […]

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Canadians love digital payments, cash not so much

Like consumers and merchants all around the world, Canadians have embraced digital payments instead of cash and checks. The growth rate is staggering, as evidenced by statistics provided by Interac, which processes many of those payments. Digital payments are used for payments from an individual or business to another individual or business. For example, a person […]

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Global charity CARE is bigger than CARE packages

Where will you find CARE? Think of trouble spots around the world where there are humanitarian disasters tied to extreme poverty, conflict, hunger, or a lack of basic healthcare or education. CARE is on the ground in these places, addressing survival needs, running clinics, and helping individuals, families, and communities rebuild their lives. CARE’s scope is […]

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Linking on-prem data with cloud apps without moving many bytes

Solve the puzzle: A company’s critical customer data is in a multiterabyte on-premises database, and the digital marketing application that uses that data to manage and execute campaigns runs in the cloud. How can the cloud-based marketing software quickly access and leverage that on-premises data? It’s a puzzle that one small consumer-engagement consulting company, Embel Assist, […]

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FedRAMP provides on-ramp to standardized government cloud computing

U.S. government agencies needing high levels of information security can upgrade to use the latest cloud technologies to run their applications. That’s thanks to a pair of new cloud infrastructure regions from Oracle. The cloud data center complexes are authorized against strenuous FedRAMP and Department of Defense requirements. The two new cloud infrastructure regions are in Ashburn, Virginia, outside […]

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Thinking about security for houses of worship

It’s been a tough year, and security is on the mind of everyone in the religious community, including synagogues, churches, and mosques. Here’s a timely story in the Jewish News, a newspaper in the greater Phoenix area: “Security experts prep synagogues for High Holidays.” In the last 12 months, the American Jewish community has faced […]

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You can’t secure what you can’t see

My short essay, “You can’t secure what you can’t see,” was published in the 2019/2020 edition of Commerce Trends, from Manhattan Associates (page 18). The essay begins with, When your company’s name appears in the press, the story should be about your fantastic third-quarter earnings, improved year-on-year same-store results, and the efficiency of your supply […]

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Trust your software developers, but also verify

A talented programmer is a valued asset to any organization. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take steps to protect yourself and your organization, writes Wayne Rash in his new article for PC Magazine, “Protect Your Business During Custom Coding Projects.” Wayne begins the story with an uncomfortable anecdote: On July 19, 2019, contract programmer […]


The human-error side of cybersecurity

Want better enterprise cybersecurity? It may seem counter-intuitive, but the answer probably isn’t a surge in employee training or hiring of cybersecurity talent. That’s because humans will always make errors, and humans can’t cope with the scale and stealth of today’s cyberattacks. To best protect information systems, including data, applications, networks, and mobile devices, look […]

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Tech makes sailing more fun and engaging

I was pleased to contribute to a nice sport-technology story published in Mirage News, “Oracle Applies Cutting-Edge Tech to Enhance Fan Experiences.” My part begins like this: Racing space-age yachts in San Francisco Bay (or anywhere) presents its own set of technological and athletic hurdles. SailGP catamarans are the fastest boats in the world, capable […]

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Doug Cutter is the tall guy in Hadoop and Big Data

Doug Cutting stands head-and-shoulders above most developers I’ve met—figuratively, as well as literally. As one of the founders of the Hadoop open source project, which allows many Big Data projects to scale to handle huge problems and immense quantities of data, Cutting is revered. Plus, Doug Cutting is tall. Very tall. (Lots taller than I am.) “Six-foot-eight, […]


Embed AI into applications for the biggest impact

Consider an employee who normally fills out his weekly time card on Thursday afternoon, because he doesn’t work most Fridays. Machine learning that’s built into a payroll application could help the app learn the individual working habits of each employee. Having learned this specific pattern, the app could ask him if he meant to fill […]

I am wanted, dead or alive

This long missive is the best spam scam this month: Am I dead or alive? My urgen [sic] attention is needed. Because if I’m dead, they can’t scam me, right? Don’t reply to messages like this; just delete them. Even if they need courage. From: “Mr. Godwin Emefiele (email hidden; JavaScript is required) Subject: Re: […]

Totally legit to send the new accountant my bank details

They’ve got overdue invoices to pay me. Don’t you think so? Uh, no. Don’t send people like this your bank info – or anything. Delete such scam messages, don’t reply to them. From: email hidden; JavaScript is required Subject: RE: Overdue Invoices To: undisclosed-recipients:; Good day, I am the new accountant. I currently reviewed some […]

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New Mexico’s high degree of blockchain

Every new graduate from Central New Mexico Community College leaves school with a beautiful paper diploma covered in fine calligraphy, colorful seals, and official signatures. This summer, every new graduate also left with the same information authenticated and recorded in blockchain. What’s the point of recording diplomas using blockchain technology? Blockchain creates a list of immutable records—grouped in […]

Thank you “Gavin” for the SEO spam

Does “Gavin” seem totally above-board to you? Don’t you want what his real name is? No matter what, it’s a scam. That he tried to bypass my spam filter by spoofing my own email address in the “from” header is a nice touch. And doesn’t the aol.com email address ooze technical proficiency? Don’t respond to […]

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Exploring the autonomous features in the Oracle Autonomous Database

Oracle Database is the world’s most popular enterprise database. This year’s addition of autonomous operating capabilities to the cloud version of Oracle Database is one of the most important advances in the database’s history. What does it mean for a database to be “autonomous?” Let’s look under the covers of Oracle Autonomous Database to show just a […]

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Chatbots meet education at the University of Adelaide

In Australia, at 8 a.m. on ‘Results Day,’ thousands and thousands of South Australian year 12 students receive their ATAR (Australia Tertiary Admissions Rank)—the all-important standardized score used to gain admission to universities across Australia. The frustrating challenge: many are eligible to add as many as nine school and subject-specific bonus points to their ATAR, which can […]

The scammer has a modesty obligation

This seems legit… Not. What made it worth sharing was the opening, “It’s my modesty obligation…” It’s that obligation that will ensure the hitch free transfer of our fund, of course. That doesn’t explain why someone at the United Nations uses a Hong Kong email address for official business, though. Or why someone at a […]

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Knowledge requires context

Knowledge is power—and knowledge with the right context at the right moment is the most powerful of all. Emerging technologies will leverage the power of context to help people become more efficient, and one of the first to do so is a new generation of business-oriented digital assistants. Let’s start by distinguishing a business digital assistant […]

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Hackers want your data columns — not your data rows

At too many government agencies and companies, the security mindset, even though it’s never spoken, is that “We’re not a prime target, our data isn’t super-sensitive.” Wrong. The reality is that every piece of personal data adds to the picture that potential criminals or state-sponsored actors are painting of individuals. And that makes your data a […]