Archive for the ‘social networking’ Category
What day is it again?
Oh, yes, Wednesday. Hump day.
I’ve been so busy this week on back-to-back phone calls that I’ve hardly had an opportunity to lift my head and see what’s going on in the world.
I finally took a few moments this morning to do so, and discovered a couple of tidbits on the mobile front. One, the new Samsung Galaxy IV is now available, and two, the QWERTY keyboard version of the new BlackBerry, the Q10, is also available.
On the former, it’s a mixed bag according to the Verge, though a mostly positive bag but one that suggests Samsung Galaxy has plenty of “good enough” competition not to warrant the steeper price of entry for the IV.
And on the latter, TechCrunch writes the Q10 is “a QWERTY keyboard smartphone comeback worth waiting for,” which I’ll consider at least a semi-positive endorsement.
Me, I’m sticking with my LG Cosmos 2 feature phone.
Being a social and digital media guru of sorts, people look at me like I’m from another planet when carrying this phone. That alone is a good reason to do so, as it’s a great conversation starter: “What the hell are you doing with that phone??!”
The other is, I like having a phone that works as a phone. I have an HTC Android device, a Kindle, an iPod Touch 5th gen, an iPod Touch 2nd gen, and an iPad 1st gen for all my tablet needs. But for all the time I spend on the phone, good battery life and strong signal reception are key, and the Cosmos 2 continues to deliver day after day without fail.
“Can you hear me now?” are words rarely spoken through the Cosmos.
Speaking of the cosmos, in the social media realm IBM just announced that for the fourth consecutive year that IDC ranked them number one in worldwide market share for enterprise social software.
Fact is, social networking adoption continues to soar as businesses look to transform their organization into a smarter enterprise that is capable of empowering a global workforce and transforming client experiences.
According to IDC, the worldwide enterprise social market segment reached 1.0 billion in 2012, representing growth of 25 percent over 2011.
As this demand grows, organizations are looking to introduce social capabilities into all key areas, from marketing and research innovation to sales and human resources. The challenge is that many lack the ability to capture and share the unique insights from each employee and use it to help drive real value to the business.
IBM’s social business software and services pair powerful social networking capabilities with analytics that help companies engage all key stakeholders whether an employee, customer or partners in order to accelerate innovation and deliver results.
Today, more than 60 percent of Fortune 100 companies have licensed IBM’s solutions for social business, including eight of the top 10 retailers and banks.
IBM’s social networking platform, IBM Connections, allows for instant collaboration with one simple click and the ability to build social communities both inside and outside the organization. We live by it inside IBM these days, and it’s available both on premise and in the IBM SmartCloud for Social Business. IBM currently has three IBM SmartCloud for Social Business facilities based in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.
You can learn more about the latest version of IBM Connections in the video below.
Written by turbotodd
April 24, 2013 at 11:06 am
First it was Ubuntu Linux on phones, and now it looks like it’s going to be Ubuntu Linux on Tablets.
TechCrunch posts that on Thursday, developers will be able to start “playing with” the new code, citing Ubuntu founder and VP Products Mark Shuttleworth saying that the strategy is “One Ubuntu” that contains the same codebase but works across multiple platforms, including desktops, phones, and tablets.
But, that each platform “uses a Linux kernel” that’s tailored for the specifics of the target hardware.
This in juxtaposition with iOS and Android, which don’t work as well beyond the handset form factor.
For the record, I currently run Ubuntu on several of my older machines, and save for some VPN woes, I’m a (mostly) happy Ubuntu user.
But what’s more interesting to me about this announcement is the timing. The global mobile confab, Mobile World Congress, is set to launch next week in Barcelona (one of my favorite cities on the planet!).
And speaking of mobile, just last week, IBM announced that Forrester Research, Inc. has recognized IBM as a leader in enterprise mobility services in its recent Forrester Wave report “Enterprise Mobility Services, Q1 2013.”
The report gave IBM the highest score possible on its current offering, writing that IBM “brings clients a world-class design agency (IBM Interactive) combined with breadth and depth of enterprise mobility consulting in terms of technology and global presence.”
I expect you’ll hear more about IBM’s mobile strategy in Barcelona, and shortly thereafter at the IBM Pulse event in Las Vegas, which I’ll be covering for Big Blue.
If you’re planning on attending IBM Pulse, I would highly recommend you start preparing your schedule now. Already-registered attendees simply need go to the Pulse SmartSite to start checking out this year’s fare.
But wait, there’s more!
This year, IBM has introduced an exciting new social feature in the form of Pulse on Vivastream, a unique social networking platform where you can connect and interact with other attendees and speakers in advance of, during, and after the event to find people with similar interests and skills, share agendas, discuss hot and trending topics, and network with other attendees before you ever land in the land of what happens there stays there.
I’m already registered on “Pulse on Vivastream” myself, so feel free to drop by and introduce yourself.
This year, IBM Pulse guest speakers and performers include 4-time NFL MVP quarterback Peyton Manning and 6-time Grammy Award winner Carrie Underwood.
You’ll also have the opportunity to mix it up with 8,000+ of your peers and hear from IBM business partners and top industry analysts on the latest trends and hottest IT topics…including, yes, mobile.
You can go here to learn more about IBM Pulse 2013, which goes from March 3-6.
I’ll be bringing you more insights and coverage leading up to and during the event right here in the Turbo blog, and will once again be broadcasting via the Interwebs from the show floor, speaking with a variety of IBM executives, industry analysts, and other thought leaders that help make the IBM Tivoli world go round.
Written by turbotodd
February 19, 2013 at 5:23 pm
There are loads of conferences coming up. In October, I’ll be attending and covering both the IBM InterConnect event in Singapore (October 9-11), and am currently preparing myself psychologically for the long plane ride.
Later in the month, from October 21-25, I’ll be covering the seventh Information on Demand event in Las Vegas, Nevada.
I’ll have more info on those soon, but in the meantime wanted to highlight another key event that will probably be flying a little under the radar, the Cúram International User Conference.
Entitled “Smarter Social Programs to Deliver Better Outcomes,” the Cúram event will be held starting tomorrow, October 1, through Thursday, October 4, at the Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel in Washington, D.C.
What’s notable about this particular event is its orientation towards helping people who help other people.
Social services organizations around the world find themselves in challenging times, with increasing demands for their resources and higher service expectations, at a time when tax revenues aren’t exactly peaking.
Many of those organizations have begun to leverage Cúram software to ensure they have the most fitting business and technology foundation to support those increasing demands.
At the Cúram event, attendees will learn about best practices from some of the more leading-edge social services practitioners, hear more about the latest social services trends, and network with their peers from around the globe.
They’ll also have the opportunity to see the latest Cúram solutions and technology in action, and meet Cúram integrators and partners.
Big news today from IBM re: social analytics, and for some key customer wins on the social business front.
First, to the news about social analytics. Today, IBM unveiled new software and services that bring the power of big data analytics into the hands of a social savvy workforce anytime, anywhere.
With this new capability, organizations will be able to apply analytics to their social business efforts, allowing them to gain actionable insight on information generated in social networks and put it to work in real-time.
IBM’s Lead In Social Business
Today, more than 60 percent of the Fortune 100 have licensed IBM social software to activate their workforce to improve productivity, and gain insight on data to anticipate individual customers needs.
IBM’s leadership role in analytics has been established through a thoughtful strategy that required the expansion of R&D, acquisition and business initiatives across its hardware software and services portfolio.
As part of today’s news, IBM announced the availability of its industry-leading social software platform, IBM Connections.
IBM Connections incorporates sophisticated analytics capabilities, real-time data monitoring, and faster collaborative networks both inside and outside the organization, whether on premise, in the IBM SmartCloud or using a broad range of mobile devices.
You can check out a demo here.
IBM Customers Becoming More Social
IBM also announced today that leading companies around the globe, including Bayer MaterialScience, Colgate-Palmolive Company, LeasePlan, Primerica and Teach for America, are using its social software to achieve real returns on their social business investments.
The rise of social media is prompting business leaders, from the CMO to the chief HR officer to the CIO, to evaluate how to create opportunities that drive business transformation through the use of social technology, creating real business value.
At the same time, business leaders lack the tools to gain insight into the enormous stream of information and use it in a meaningful way. According to IBM’s CEO Study, today only 16 percent of CEOs are using social business platforms to connect with customers, but that number is poised to spike to 57 percent within the next three to five years.
A recent IBM study of more than 1,700 chief marketing officers reveals 82 percent plan to increase their use of social media over the next three to five years.
“To truly realize the full potential of a social business, leaders need to empower a company’s most vital asset — the information being generated from its people,” said Alistair Rennie, general manager, social business, IBM. “Now is the time for business leaders to embed social into their key business processes to shift their business from the era of ‘liking’ to ‘leading’.”
Today, more than 60 percent of the Fortune 100 have licensed IBM social software. There is strong demand for IBM’s social business platform in regulated industries, with 41 percent of Connections 4 beta participants in banking, finance and healthcare institutions.
Primerica, a leading distributor of financial products in North America, will utilize Connections and WebSphere Portal, to transform how its agents engage with its 2.3 million policy holders on the fly, to provide increased value for its customers.
The company plans to use social business software to improve the overall client experience, drive competitive edge and stay on the forefront of innovation in the financial services industry. You can read more details on Primerica’s adoption of IBM social software here.
And in the video at the bottom of this post, you can check out my interview with Digital Influence Group’s Glenn Engler about the challenges and opportunities for social media in heavily regulated industries.
Expanding IBM Social Capabilities In Key Growth Markets
To support the burgeoning demand for social business solutions in growth markets, in the fourth quarter of 2012 IBM will open two social business customer support centers to serve IBM’s Asia-Pacific and Latin American clients.
Located in Manilla, the Philippines, and Sao Paolo, Brazil, these centers will support the rapid adoption of social business tools in these growth markets. The Philippines and Brazil centers join a roster of IBM social business centers in North America, Dublin, Japan, China and India.
IBM’s growing business partner network of more than 39,000 business partners are also bringing new, cutting-edge capabilities to IBM’s social platform every day in areas including gamification, video, compliance, project management and mobility.
For example, Actiance provides leading compliance capabilities to thousands of organizations globally, SugarCRM helps sellers use social networking and analytics for effective selling, and Bunchball provides gamification capabilities to IBM Connections.
Making New Connections With IBM Connections Social Software
IBM Connections, a cornerstone of IBM’s social platform, is available on premise, in the cloud, and on a broad range of mobile devices.
IBM Connections integrates activity streams, calendaring, wikis, blogs, a new email capability, and more, and flags relevant data for action. It allows for instant collaboration with one simple click and the ability to build social, secure communities both inside and outside the organization to increase customer loyalty and speed business results.
The new Connections mail capability provides simplified access to email within the context of the social networking environment.
Empowering Your Employees
The new capabilities empower employees from every line of business, such as marketing, human resources and development to gain actionable insight into the information being generated in their social networks.
For example, the Connections landing page features a single location that allows users to view and interact with content from any third party solution through a social interface, right alongside their company’s content, including email and calendar.
The embedded experience of the news feed, also known as an activity stream, allows employees from any department inside an organization to explore structured and unstructured data such as Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, weather data, videos, log files, SAP applications, electronically sign documents, and quickly act on the data as part of their everyday work experience.
For more information, please visit www.ibm.com/press/socialbusiness.
IBM blogger and tech evangelist Todd “Turbo” Watson interviews Digital Influence Group CEO Glenn Engler at SXSW Interactive 2012 about the opportunities and challenges of social media for heavily regulated industries.
Written by turbotodd
September 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm
Posted in big data, business analytics, cloud computing, collaboration software, crowdsourcing, digital marketing, facebook, ibm software, marketing, mobile enterprise, online collaboration, predictive analytics, smarter analytics, social business, social commerce, social media, social networking, social networks, social platforms
If you love nothing else about IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative, you have to love the fact that it’s driven by results.
Here in Orlando, day one of the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit has already revealed some of those facts, or business outcomes, that demonstrate the power of a more integrated customer experience in action.
By way of example: I mentioned earlier via Twitter that over $27 billion in sales generated by the Internet Retailers Top 500 is powered by IBM Commerce software.
Another example: IBM manages $57 billion in annual procurement spend managed on behalf of our clients.
Yet another: IBM analyzes over $100 billion of commerce transactions each year in the cloud and conveys that insight back to our customers.
But those are results on the so-called “back-end.”
Let’s turn our attention for a moment to the newly empowered consumer: 86 percent of them use multiple channels in their shopping efforts, and they spend four to five times more than the average.
Four in ten smartphone users search for an item while in the store, and yet online sales via mobile devices were up 300 percent over 2010.
Or how about this one: 77 percent of the global population are now mobile subscribers.
That’s an immense opportunity.
Guy Kawasaki On Enchanted Customers
As former Apple evangelist and social media thought leader and author Guy Kawasaki kicked off today’s keynote session here at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit, he explained to the audience that we had over 200 interesting and very valuable sessions of the audience’s peers and outside industry experts sharing their own insights.
He began with the notion of the “chief executive customer,” that is to say, with placing customers at the center of the commerce experience.
Citing his own book, “Enchantment,” Kawasaki revealed there are three pillars for building enchantment with your customers. One, you have to be likable. Two, you must achieve trustworthiness. And three, you have to do something “DICEE” (the acronym which translated to “Deep,” “Intelligent,” “Complete,” “Empowering,” and “Elegant.”)
Kawasaki shared some compelling examples of which he spoke. After running into Virgin mega CEO Richard Branson at a speaking engagement in Moscow, Branson cornered Kawasaki and asked him the ill-fated question: Do you fly on Virgin Airlines?
Kawasaki admitted that, as a loyal United customer, he did not. Branson then used his charm and personality, and even a quick shoe shine, to convince Kawasaki he should reconsider.
Kawasaki now also flies on Virgin.
The Legend Continues…
After some other amusing anecdotes, Kawasaki turned the rostrum over to Craig Hayman, IBM’s general manager, Industry Solutions.
Hayman talked about examples of businesses that have had to completely reinvent themselves (Play-Doh, the children’s product, used to be a cleaning goop used prior to World War II!).
Hayman explained that the rate and pace of change in today’s marketplace is soaring, but that ultimately the customer “owns the transaction.”
“If you disappoint them,” Hayman explained, “they’re going to share their point of view (especially via the social media!) and then move on.”
Hayman handed the reins over to Lenovo senior VP of supply chain, Jerry Smith, who explained that Lenovo is a $30 billion global personal technology company with 27,000+ employees and customers in 160+ countries.
Partnering with IBM, Smith explained, Lenovo rebuilt its company around a global supply chain vision whose goal was simple yet straightforward: To become the undisputed #1 supply chain in personal technology by providing a best-in-class customer experience.
As Smith related to the gathered audience, “We need you (Lenovo’s sales force and partners) to sell product on the water,” meaning those units which were already on ships leaving China heading for parts around the globe.
Lenovo’s supply chain overhaul saw delivery performance go up by 15 percent, and onboarding costs/time down some 85 percent, giving them better negotiating leverage, higher order speeds, and leaner inventory, a must for the PC business.
The Grass Always Grows At Husqvarna
Smith’s handoff was to two executives from Husqvarna, the 300+ year-old company that, these days, specializes in outdoor equipment.
Think chain saws and lawn mowers.
“Grass always grows,” explained John Marchionda, Husqvarna’s VP of marketing, as his counterpart from IT, Simon Howard, nodded his head in agreement.
Husqvarna’s most recent marketing investments include a social video education space on its website that are both sales force and tutorial, explaining the likes of using chain saws safely, and effectively, and helping turn the inventory in the process.
The last IBM customer to “testify” in the morning session was Aditya Bhasin, the senior VP for Consumer Marketing and Digital Banking.
“People trust other people, not institutions,” explained Bhasin. He and his team are using that knowledge to make banking better, combining the best of human interaction with a more robust and effective technology system.
One example: “BankAmeriDeals,” a form of digital couponing that combines buyer behaviors, shopping, and payment systems to bring more value to its customers in direct savings on purchases.
Another: Its new Facebook branch, which is helping match consumers with local ATMs and bank branches, and helping answer customer questions through a medium they’re most comfortable with.
Change Is A Four Letter Word
The co-author of Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, Dan Heath, batted clean-up in the morning session by talking about a theme universal to many of IBM Smarter Commerce clients’ initiatives: Change.
“Change is a four-letter word for a lot of people,” Heath explained, before challenging the audience to think about “what happens when you leave Orlando? Will the change you envision be a change you are willing to fight for?”
Heath explained that change is definitely within the art of the possible: We’re certainly optimistic about change the moment we decide to get married.
With much laughs from the audience, and Heath’s wedding album pictures onscreen as pudding proof, Heath explained that change is made more difficult by the battling two sides of our brains: The Rational, Conscious, and Deliberative side, and the Emotional, Unconscious, and Automatic side.
The emotional side is like a big elephant in our heads, the little devil telling us “We deserve ice cream” or “Call my ex.”
The rational side…well, we like to often ignore that side.
To make his thesis actionable, Heath explained a three-part framework for thinking about change.
One, he explained, we have to “direct the rider.” Point to the way you want to change and “find the bright spots,” those areas of opportunity where you’ve already succeeded.
Second, “motivate the elephant” — give them a compelling reason to change.
And finally, “shape the path,” for change.
That is, “cultivate a culture that’s more conducive to change” and encourages more people to participate.
Written by turbotodd
September 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm
Posted in best practices, business analytics, business travel, conference, customer experience, customer service, customer stories, enterprise mobility, ibm software, innovation, smarter commerce, social networking, social networks
There’s nothing like the looming shadow of the largest Internet-related IPO in history to bring out all the Debbie Downers.
Mind you, I’m in a two-day meeting in Raleigh with my teammates, so I’m supposed to be paying attention to what’s going on inside these four walls. And I mostly am.
But, I simply could not ignore this headline sent to me via email by a fellow colleague (just to demonstrate the continued critical importance of personal word-of-mouth recommendations…I can’t find out everything from watching “The View”, now, can I?): GM To Stop Advertising On Facebook.
This on the first scroll of The Wall Street Journal this afternoon.
It would be easy enough to dismiss this headline considering the source, News Corporation, which owns the Journal, which is competing for essentially the same advertising dollars — never mind that they also own that little used social network, MySpace, which once-upon-a-time was the bell of the social networking ball — but, it’s General Motors, the U.S.’ third largest advertiser in a critical category for advertising (automobiles).
According to the story, GM has spent some $40 million on its Facebook presence and plans to stop advertising there “after the company’s marketing executives determined their paid ads had little impact on consumers.” However, it also points out GM will continue to expand its use of marketing through Facebook’s pages, which is essentially free real estate.
In this case, it seems that the “owned” media is outpacing the “paid.”
On the other side of Madison Avenue, AP-CNBC recently conducted a poll that indicated more than half (57 percent) of Facebook users polled said they never click on ads or other sponsored content when they use the site. Only 4 percent say they often click on ads.
This isn’t exactly a canary in Facebook’s coal mine, however.
As I’ve tried to point out to my own troops, the shift in attention to the Facebook platform cannot be denied — U.S. Internet users now spend 20% of their surfing time there, and as Facebook creates more intersections between entertainment, retail, and commerce, I would expect that number to go up, not down!
So what if people don’t click on an ad for the new Escalade — there’s a pretty good chance a few millions of the right people saw those ads, and quite frankly, if folks’ attention is moving from the big screen to the small (and, via mobile, to the smaller), then the attention deficit economy must eventually witness the transition of ad dollars in some semblance of parity, which heretofore hasn’t happened.
It doesn’t escape my notice that this news emerges the very same week that the big broadcasters are holding their “upfronts,” where they try to sell their $60 billion of inventory as much in advance as possible for the next year to advertisers, their agencies, etc.
The New York Times’ Amy Chozick penned a piece today explaining some of the festivities at this year’s upfronts. An excerpt: “At the Fox Party on Monday, the judges for the show ‘MasterChef,’ Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot, and Joe Bastianich, will personally serve a menu that includes organic salmon ceviche and a deconstructed Caesar salad accompanied by brioche Twinkies.”
Fox will be serving “veal meatballs with black truffles” along with “Manhattan mules,” a combination of vodka, ginger beer, and lime.
Traditional advertising’s Rome is burning, so why not throw a cocktail party and drink mint juleps as the last vestiges of appointment programming disappear into the Nielsen viewer diary of history?
The dirty little secret is this: We’re entering into a world where the absence of data is going to be replace by an abundance of data. Moving forward, Facebook’s problem with advertisers will not be whether or not they can share information about the platform’s advertising performance, but more importantly, which data, about which demographic, on what platform, etc.?
There will be more information than most advertisers can consume effectively, particularly those more schooled in Nielsen “set meters” than A/B splits and multivariate testing.
Yeah, sure, go ahead and pile on the new kid on the block. Mark Zuckerberg’s about to take away those truffles and Manhattan mules and your annual party is moving from up front to out back. I’d be mad, too.
But that doesn’t change the fact that the advertising world is changing, and the big screen is about to be replaced by one that will get smaller and smaller, but one that will be more and more valuable to marketers.
WARNING: This is an exceptionally long post intended for security and privacy geeks everywhere, including sys admins, Internet security hawks, CIOs, and innocent but interested bystanders everywhere. No web servers were hacked in the preparation of this report: at least, none by me!
Okay, troopers, it’s that time of year again. You know, the time when IBM releases its report card for security incidents, the X-Force Trend and Risk Report.
Google has the search “Zeitgeist” every year, we have the security “poltergeist!”
This time around, we’re looking back at the wild and wacky 2011, a year which showed surprising improvements in several areas of Internet security. Improvements, you ask? Surely you jest, Turbo.
No, no, there IS some good news. Like a reduction in application security vulnerabilities, exploit code and spam.
But, good news leads to less good news on this front, as many of you who follow security well know, because the bad guys are being forced to rethink their tactics by targeting more niche IT loopholes and emerging technologies such as social networks and mobile devices.
The Top Line: Less Spam, More Adaptation
To get specific, the X-Force 2011 Trend and Risk Report demonstrated a 50 percent decline in spam email compared to 2010.
2011’s poltergeist saw a diligent patching of security vulnerabilities by software vendors, with only 36 percent of those vulnerabilities remaining unpatched in 2011 (compared to 43 percent in 2010). The year also saw a higher quality of software application code, as seen in web-app vulnerabilities called “cross-site scripting” that were half as likely to exist in clients’ software as they were four years ago.
So, the net is, the bad guys are adapting their techniques to the changing tech environment. The report uncovered a rise in emerging attack trends including mobile exploits, automated password guessing, and a surge in phishing attacks.
It also witnessed an increase in automated shell command injection attacks against web servers, which may well be a response to successful efforts to close off other kinds of Web app vulnerabilities.
The Security Landscape Glass Half Full: Decrease In Unpatched Vulnerabilities, Exploit Code, And Spam
Getting even more specific, according to the report, there are several positive trends as companies adjusted their security policies in 2011:
- Thirty percent decline in the availability of exploit code. When security vulnerabilities are disclosed, exploit code is sometimes released that attackers can download and use to break into computers. Approximately 30 percent fewer exploits were released in 2011 than were seen on average over the past four years. This improvement can be attributed to architectural and procedural changes made by software developers that help make it more difficult for attackers to successfully exploit vulnerabilities.
- Decrease in unpatched security vulnerabilities. When security vulnerabilities are publicly disclosed, it is important that the responsible software vendor provide a patch or fix in a timely fashion. Some security vulnerabilities are never patched, but the percentage of unpatched vulnerabilities has been decreasing steadily over the past few years. In 2011 this number was down to 36 percent from 43 percent in 2010.
- Fifty percent reduction in cross site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities due to improvements in software quality. The IBM X-Force team is seeing significant improvement in the quality of software produced by organizations that use tools like IBM AppScan OnDemand service to analyze, find, and fix vulnerabilities in their code. IBM found XSS vulnerabilities are half as likely to exist in customers’ software as they were four years ago. However, XSS vulnerabilities still appear in about 40 percent of the applications IBM scans. This is still high for something well understood and able to be addressed.
- Decline in spam. IBM’s global spam email monitoring network has seen about half the volume of spam email in 2011 that was seen in 2010. Some of this decline can be attributed to the take-down of several large spam botnets, which likely hindered spammers’ ability to send emails. The IBM X-Force team witnessed spam evolve through several generations over the past seven years as spam filtering technology has improved and spammers have adapted their techniques in order to successfully reach readers.
The Security Landscape Glass Half Empty: Attackers Adapt Their Techniques in 2011
Even with these improvements, there has been a rise in new attack trends and an array of significant, widely reported external network and security breaches.
As malicious attackers become increasingly savvy, the IBM X-Force documented increases in three key areas of attack activity:
- Attacks targeting shell command injection vulnerabilities more than double. For years, SQL injection attacks against web applications have been a popular vector for attackers of all types. SQL injection vulnerabilities allow an attacker to manipulate the database behind a website. As progress has been made to close those vulnerabilities – the number of SQL injection vulnerabilities in publicly maintained web applications dropped by 46 percent in 2011– some attackers have now started to target shell command injection vulnerabilities instead. These vulnerabilities allow the attacker to execute commands directly on a web server. Shell command injection attacks rose by two to three times over the course of 2011. Web application developers should pay close attention to this increasingly popular attack vector.
- Spike in automated password guessing – Poor passwords and password policies have played a role in a number of high-profile breaches during 2011. There is also a lot of automated attack activity on the Internet in which attacks scan the net for systems with weak login passwords. IBM observed a large spike in this sort of password guessing activity directed at secure shell servers (SSH) in the later half of 2011.
- Increase in phishing attacks that impersonate social networking sites and mail parcel services – The volume of email attributed to phishing was relatively small over the course of 2010 and the first half of 2011, but phishing came back with a vengeance in the second half, reaching volumes that haven’t been seen since 2008. Many of these emails impersonate popular social networking sites and mail parcel services, and entice victims to click on links to web pages that may try to infect their PCs with malware. Some of this activity can also be attributed to advertising click fraud, where spammers use misleading emails to drive traffic to retail websites.
Emerging Technologies Create New Avenues for Attacks
New technologies such as mobile and cloud computing continue to create challenges for enterprise security.
- Publicly released mobile exploits rise 19 percent in 2011. This year’s IBM X-Force report focused on a number of emerging trends and best practices to manage the growing trend of “Bring your Own Device,” or BYOD, in the enterprise. IBM X-Force reported a 19 percent increase over the prior year in the number of exploits publicly released that can be used to target mobile devices. There are many mobile devices in consumers’ hands that have unpatched vulnerabilities to publicly released exploits, creating an opportunity for attackers. IT managers should be prepared to address this growing risk.
- Attacks increasingly relate to social media – With the widespread adoption of social media platforms and social technologies, this area has become a target of attacker activity. IBM X-Force observed a surge in phishing emails impersonating social media sites. More sophisticated attackers have also taken notice. The amount of information people are offering in social networks about their personal and professional lives has begun to play a role in pre-attack intelligence gathering for the infiltration of public and private sector computing networks.
- Cloud computing presents new challenges - Cloud computing is moving rapidly from emerging to mainstream technology, and rapid growth is anticipated through the end of 2013. In 2011, there were many high profile cloud breaches affecting well-known organizations and large populations of their customers. IT security staff should carefully consider which workloads are sent to third-party cloud providers and what should be kept in-house due to the sensitivity of data. Cloud security requires foresight on the part of the customer as well as flexibility and skills on the part of the cloud provider. The IBM X-Force report notes that the most effective means for managing security in the cloud may be through Service Level Agreements (SLAs) because of the limited impact that an organization can realistically exercise over the cloud computing service. Therefore, careful consideration should be given to ownership, access management, governance and termination when crafting SLAs. The IBM X-Force report encourages cloud customers to take a lifecycle view of the cloud deployment and fully consider the impact to their overall information security posture.
The IBM X-Force 2011 Trend and Risk Report is based on intelligence gathered by one of the industry’s leading security research teams through its research of public vulnerability disclosures findings from more than 4,000 clients, and the monitoring and analysis of an average of 13 billion events daily in 2011.
“In 2011, we’ve seen surprisingly good progress in the fight against attacks through the IT industry’s efforts to improve the quality of software,” said Tom Cross, manager of Threat Intelligence and Strategy for IBM X-Force. “In response, attackers continue to evolve their techniques to find new avenues into an organization. As long as attackers profit from cyber crime, organizations should remain diligent in prioritizing and addressing their vulnerabilities.”
You can learn more about IBM Security Solutions here.
Written by turbotodd
March 22, 2012 at 7:29 pm
Posted in android, cybersecurity, hacktivism, ibm research, ibm software, internet safety, iPhone, linux, market research, mobile internet, privacy, security, social networking, software development, x-force, year in review
Impressions From SXSW Interactive 2012: Q&A With Converseon CEO Rob Key On The Art Of Social Listening
Rob Key, the CEO of social media consultancy Converseon, was social media longgg before social media was cool. Rob’s company has been a leader in the art of social intelligence — putting one’s organizational ear to the cyberground and listening for actional signs and signals about one’s brand — well before most of us knew there was an opportunity to be had.
Rob sat down with me at the IBM Future of Social Business lounge to discuss the art and science of social intelligence, explaining both the challenges and opportunities in this burgeoning and, for marketers, critically important space.
This morning, Lotusphere 2012 had a very special guest, one whose vision and insight changed the world as we know it, but also my own world, helping create a career path that heretofore didn’t exist.
I’m talking about none other than Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web.
And how ironic that Sir Berners-Lee was speaking to the Lotusphere faithful about the open, semantic Web on a day when so many are protesting the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA, as it’s come to be known) as a means towards protecting intellectual property online.
(If you’re interested in learning more, Google has put up a landing page to explain their perspective on the legislation, but in the meantime, properties ranging from Wikipedia to BoingBoing have gone dark and silent in protest.)
As for Berners-Lee message, it was both history lesson and reminder from the past that’s what past is prologue. After Vinton Cerf invented TCP/IP to create the “internetwork” of all those computers, it was Berners-Lee who figured out a way to link all those computers in a more user-friendly (through the HTTP protocol via the WWW).
Now, we’re moving ever closer to the Semantic Web, where not only people, but machines, can understand instructions so we’re eliminating even more friction and sharing that much more information. Berners-Lee seemed to throw a bit of a dart at the siloing of new unstructured data, like certain social networks who have walled off much of their data, but he seems bullish that the continued need to separate data from applications will differentiate the value of that data.
By way of example, Berners-Lee explained that people should be able to look at the same map, on Google Maps for instance, and the separation of the GPS data from the actual application has been what’s facilitated that.
So things that have previously been in those silos, Berners-Lee suggests, will not enable the same value creation should they stay in those silos, and the new value of social business is having people collaborate with all this information and with one another.
Watson, Come Here!
Next on the stage was Manoj Saxeona, general manager of IBM’s recently created Watson Solutions Software Group.
Hard to believe, it’s been a year since Watson beat the best “Jeopardy!” contestants in the world in a widely televised and celebrated match. Now, Saxeona explained, it was time for Watson to stop playing and get down to work.
As Saxeona explained, currently, businesses are dying of thirst in an ocean of data.
Quick, somebody throw me a POWER7 lifeboat!
What most folks didn’t see behind the scenes during the Watson challenge was all the great technology that made Watson possible.
Watson brings together a set of transformational technologies that cultivate the following:
1. An understanding of natural language and human speech.
2) Generation and evaluation of hypothesis for better outcomes.
3. Adaptation and learning from user selections and responses.
The system is built atop a massively parallel, probabilitistic evidence-based architecture optimized for IBM’s POWER7 processors, so it can process 200 million pieces of information in three seconds, which was the threshold it needed to perform and win at “Jeopardy!”
But what about in your doctor’s office. Could Watson help your physician narrow a wide field of diagnoses into a very specific condition?
Absolutely. In fact, medical information is doubling every 5 years, much of which is unstructured.
So for medical diagnostics, Watson can quickly sift through symptoms presented, along with background information like age and other relative demography, medications the patient is taking, and so forth, and then arrive at a narrower list of possible diagnosis.
It doesn’t replace the doctor. It helps the doctor make a more informed decision.
We’ll just have to wait and see as to Watson’s bedside manners!
Written by turbotodd
January 18, 2012 at 3:40 pm
So are you feeling social yet?
C’mon, it’s day 2 of Lotusphere and IBM Connect 2012, get with the program!
My alarm clock had another big fail this morning, but fortunately my neurons were so in tune and excited about day 2 of Lotusphere 2012, that I sprouted up just in time for the morning keynote once again.
Starting Day 2: Getting Down To The Business Of Social Business
If I were to summarize this morning’s session, I’d have to say Day 2 is about getting down to the business of social business, moving well past the “whys” and into the practicalities of the “hows.”
But first, IBM executive Mike Rodin set the stage for Day 2 with a few prefatory comments. He explained that there are a number of key forces driving the market need for social business, and that we’re witnessing some major changes in people’s behaviors.
Notably, he observed the rise of the empowered individual. And I thought for a moment, and said, wait a minute, he’s talking about me! No, not me, specifically, but all of those of us who have an entrepreneurial bent in organizations large and small, who just want to get good work done and make a difference for our businesses and who now have the tools and technologies to facilitate that type of action.
He explained this new milieu is changing the way we all work, and that roles and connections are being forever changed across both internal and external networks.
McKinsey On Social Business: 90% Of Companies Realize Real Business Value
Rodin then brought to the stage Michael Chiu, a senior fellow with the McKinsey Global Institute. Apparently, someone on the staff forgot to remind Mike Rodin that he was the one interviewing Michael, as Rodin left for the exits. Very funny, very human moment, talking about social business!
Rodin quickly made his return and set right in to getting some red meat from McKinsey, as Chiu explained his team had been studying collaboration in the enterprise for over 10 years, and observed that though IT has been great at learning how to improve the efficacy of physical and transactional processes, with knowledge work, that hasn’t been as much the case.
But, he explained, we’re getting there, and are on the cusp of the “S-curve” towards better understanding how to improve those knowledge worker processes, and the rise of social is adding fuel to the fire.
Rodin responded by asking how companies can use capabilities like microblogging for business benefit, and Chiu expanded the aperture with his answer by explaining you can never fully know how people are going to use the technology, but if you can develop some level of hypothesis based on the general adoption, you’ll be surprised where you will find the most benefit. Then, you have to learn how to scale and extend it across the enterprise.
Rodin acknowledged this by observing that McKinsey’s own data suggested over 90% of companies using social today are deriving hard ROI, and Chiu echoed this, explaining that fully 70% of them were reporting real business results.
IBM Customer TD Bank: Make Social Part Of Your Culture
Perfect time for IBM customer, TD Bank, in the form of Vice President of Social Media, Wendy Arnott, to enter from stage left, to help demonstrate not only to the IBM audience, but to the world, what real social business leadership looks like.
Some background on TD Bank: They’re the 6th largest bank in North America, with some 19M customers and more than 85,000 employees working in over 3,000 locations, including in branch offices, trading floors, and even home offices.
Ms. Arnott started TD Bank’s social business pitch explaining that their corporate social mission had to jibe with the company’s key values, including staying true to their belief of “building for the future.” She and her associates were always trying to figure out how they could take their business to the next level, and that because the world was changing, and her fellow employees and their customers were operating in new ways, were driving new expectations of the bank.
And yet, there were constraints for moving into social business: TD Bank operates in a highly regulated industry, and yet, they recognized incremental improvement wasn’t enough. To win, they needed to change the game.
They started by engaging in conversations with their customers through a social media customer service team, a logical place to do so, and a launching point for other companies trying to move into social business.
But TD Bank didn’t stop there. They decided to focus on three key imperatives that would guide their social strategy development: Align with their core values, deliver real business outcomes, and acknowledge and face their risks head on.
Soon, they found themselves breaking through some formerly taboo issues. The bank wanted to expand its business by staying open on Sundays. Through a transparent employee jam, employees, rather than booing the idea outright, came around and were eventually enthusiastic about the idea, recognizing it would make TD Bank that much more competitive.
Good Ideas Can Come From Anyone
Another win: A CSR in a brand had an idea about changing a simple paper process to digital that would prevent customers from having to make a physical trip to the branch office. It wasn’t a completely new idea, but now, with crowdsourcing, hundreds of other employees chimed in and rallied behind the idea, and the next thing you know it was sitting in front of executives, just daring them not to support the idea!
With each step, TD Bank was embedding social in its core business processes. Little by little, they were able to bring down the walls of resistance, even in the regulatory environment. On that front, they again brought the key risk mitigators into the discussion, made them core to the brainstorming, and were able to find common ground and, as a team, identify the major risk inhibitors, and soon found many shifting their perception from risk to opportunity.
So what were the lessons learned in all this? Arnott explained there were several, and left the Lotusphere 2012 audience with this very actionable set of “leave behinds”:
- Leadership matters. At TD Bank the entire senior exec team believed in and supported the Connections roll out from the beginning.
- Build a dedicated social team. This has to be someone’s job. Every day, all day.
- Form great partnerships. Things don’t just happen in a large organization. HR, communications, privacy, marketing, IT…they all need to come together to forge a set of shared beliefs that will get social efforts off the ground.
- Get into the weeds. The devil’s in the details, even when they rock the boat. Be prepared.
- Engage employees. They get it, and they can advocate on a large scale and quickly.