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black-hat-2022-software-supply-chain-securityBlack Hat is best known for hardware and traditional software exploits, but this year it showcases more software supply chain security issues—marking the shift in the threat landscape.

Black Hat, the annual gathering of hackers and information security pros in Las Vegas, kicks off next week — the 25th such gathering. It comes after two years of COVID-inspired cancellations and delays. Over the years, Black Hat and its sister conference, DEF CON, have made headlines by showcasing high-profile exploits of hardware and software — from Cisco routers and ATMs to enterprise platforms like Oracle, SQL Server, and Active Directory. 

You can find plenty of those talks this year, also. But they will share the stage with a growing number of discussions of cyber threats, vulnerabilities and potential attacks on developers, open source modules and the underlying infrastructure supporting modern DevOps organizations. Together, the talks mark a shift in the threat landscape and the growing prominence of security threats to the software supply chain.

Here are the talks related to software development and supply chain risk, and some of the themes that emerged.

Development teams in the crosshairs

The security of tools and platforms used by DevOps organizations is a clear theme at this year’s Black Hat Briefings, with a number of talks addressing specific threats to source code management systems for both closed- and open source software. 

On Wednesday, for example, NCC Group researchers Iain Smart and Viktor Gazdag will present their talk, RCE-as-a-Service: Lessons Learned from 5 Years of Real-World CI/CD Pipeline Compromises. In the talk, the two leverage years of work testing the security of development groups within a range of organizations – from small businesses to Fortune 500 firms. 

Describing CI/CD pipelines as the “most dangerous potential attack surface of your software supply chain,” the pair will argue that these development platforms are the crown jewel in any company’s IT infrastructure, providing attackers with a way to turn tools meant to accelerate software development into a malicious “Remote Code Execution-as-a-Service” platform. The pair will also talk about the best approach for defending CI/CD pipelines from attacks and compromises. 

Also picking up the theme of “threats to DevOps environments” is the Thursday presentation by researcher Brett Hawkins of IBM X-Force. Brett will dig into the various ways that source code management (SCM) systems like GitHub Enterprise, GitLab Enterprise and Bitbucket might be attacked and compromised.

Hawkins’ talk, Controlling the Source: Abusing Source Code Management Systems, presents research that has uncovered a variety of attack scenarios that can give malicious actors access to SCM systems. He will also release open source tools to facilitate SCM attacks including reconnaissance, manipulation of user roles, repository takeovers, and user impersonation. Hawkins will also provide guidance on how to defend SCM systems from attack. 

Open source: risky business

Given the software industry’s heavy reliance on open source software to facilitate development, and the growing prevalence of threats and attacks via open source platforms and code, it is no surprise that open source cyber risk is another central theme at this year’s Black Hat Briefings. Data compiled by the firm Synopsys, for example, found that the average software application in 2021 depended on more than 500 open source libraries and components, up 77% in two years. Attackers have taken notice. As we have noted, there have been numerous software supply chain attacks playing to developers (and development teams) heavy reliance on open source repositories like PyPi and npm

The agenda at Black Hat picks up on this trend, with talks that explore the risks posed by open source code and propose remedies. 

For example, researchers Jonathan Leitschuh, Patrick Way and Shyam Mehta use their talk to tackle a key problem in open source security: how to scale security response to meet the challenge of massive open source platforms like GitHub. While modern tools might allow us to automate vulnerability scanning and identification, the output of such endeavors often overwhelms the mere homo sapiens who are tasked with assessing, triaging and responding to the flood of identified flaws. 

Leitschuh, Way and Mehta propose one solution: automated bulk pull request generation, as well as tools such as the Netflix developed OpenRewrite that can help security teams scale their security response. Check out their talk, Scaling the Security Researcher to Eliminate OSS Vulnerabilities Once and For All, on Thursday at 3:20 PM. 

And, as companies let AI loose on the vast repository of open source code in the hopes of developing coding bots that might one day replace developers, the presentation In Need of ‘Pair’ Review: Vulnerable Code Contributions by GitHub Copilot deserves your attention. The work of a group of researchers from NYU and the University of Calgary, the talk analyzes the output of “Copilot,” an ‘AI-based Pair Programmer’ released by GitHub in 2021.

Copilot leverages a deep learning model trained on open-source GitHub code. But, as the researchers note, much of that code “isn’t great.” And, as Microsoft learned with its AI-based chatbot for Twitter, artificial intelligence is great at absorbing input and teasing out patterns, but terrible at assessing the underlying quality of the information it is being fed.  

An analysis of Copilot code revealed a high preponderance of common flaws, among them SQL injection, buffer overflow and use-after-free vulnerabilities. In fact, of 1,689 suggestions generated across 89 different scenarios using the Copilot AI, the researchers found approximately 40% to be vulnerable.

The talk has implications for development organizations that would look to offload low-level coding work to bots, of course. But the high density of flaws in GitHub repositories is also a red flag to organizations that more scrutiny is needed to assess the quality and stability of open source components before dependencies are created, rather than after. 

Developers: the elephant in the security living room

The elephant in the living room of DevOps security is, of course, the developer themself. While Source Code Analysis tools can Boost security assessments of proprietary and open source code, and vulnerability scans can identify flaws and weaknesses in developed code, the best security “fix” comes in the form of better written, high quality code. 

That’s the subject that researcher Adam Shostack tackles in his talk A Fully Trained Jedi, You Are Not, on Wednesday, August 10 at 11:20. Shostack, an expert in threat modeling, secure development and DevOps, talks about the ‘boil the ocean’ problem that many organizations face as they try to train up developers in the intricacies of secure development without sacrificing other priorities, like developing usable code on time and on budget. 

In this talk, Shostack talks about how organizations can operationalize security training for developers. The goal is not to produce a staff of “Jedi-quality” secure developers, but to Boost the security awareness and skills of the broad population of developers, with a goal of reducing common but still prevalent security issues that plague developed applications. 

“A rebellion doesn’t run on a single Jedi,” Shostack notes. To that end, he’ll present the broad outlines of a “knowledge scaffolding and tiered approach to learning” that is scalable across development organizations. 

Keep learning

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from ReversingLabs Blog authored by Paul Roberts. Read the original post at: https://blog.reversinglabs.com/blog/software-supply-chain-security-takes-center-stage-at-black-hat-2022

Wed, 03 Aug 2022 02:46:00 -0500 by Paul Roberts on August 3, 2022 en-US text/html https://securityboulevard.com/2022/08/software-supply-chain-security-takes-center-stage-at-black-hat-2022/ Killexams : Enterprise Knowledge Management System Market 2022 Depth Investigation And Analysis Report On Key Players 2030

The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content.

Aug 01, 2022 (Alliance News via COMTEX) -- Key Companies Covered in the Enterprise Knowledge Management System Research are Alfanar, Chris Lewis Group, Cisco, Enlighted, GoTo Room, IQBoard, Komstadt, Logitech, Microsoft, Poly, Scenariio, Smart Systems(Smarthomes Chattanooga), TecinteracaBloomfire, Callidus Software Inc., Chadha Software Technologies, ComAround, Computer Sciences Corporation(APQC), EduBrite Systems, EGain Ernst Young, IBM Global Services, Igloo, KMS Lighthouse, Knosys, Moxie Software, Open Text Corporation, ProProfs, Right Answers, Transversal, Yonyx, Glean, IntraFindtive, TIS Control, Vox Audio Visual, Webex, Yealink and other key market players.

The global Enterprise Knowledge Management System market size will reach USD million in 2030, growing at a CAGR of % during the analysis period.

As the global economy recovers in 2021 and the supply of the industrial chain improves, the Enterprise Knowledge Management System market will undergo major changes. According to the latest research, the market size of the Enterprise Knowledge Management System industry in 2021 will increase by USD million compared to 2020, with a growth rate of %.

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Killexams : Professional Service Agreement

Based in Green Bay, Wisc., Jackie Lohrey has been writing professionally since 2009. In addition to writing web content and training manuals for small business clients and nonprofit organizations, including ERA Realtors and the Bay Area Humane Society, Lohrey also works as a finance data analyst for a global business outsourcing company.

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Killexams : GovCloud: The Future of Government Work

WRITTEN BY: Charlie Tierney, Steve Cottle & Katie Jorgensen

Wind back the clock to 1971. Jane, a freshly minted college graduate, joins the government as a clerk. Jane’s work consists largely of entering information into databases and creating reports, which requires her to spend the better part of her work day seated at a terminal near a mainframe computer that fills an entire room. Jane and her colleagues are expected to be at their desks from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., five days a week. Jane is grateful to have a steady 9-to-5 job, and plans to spend her entire career with her agency.

Flash forward 40 years and meet Jane’s grandson, Ian. He carries a slim tablet wherever he goes, which has more computing power than the mainframe with which Jane worked. Ian is constantly tethered to the Internet and works 24/7, from wherever he is. Ian expects to switch from project to project and office to office as his career develops and his interests evolve. If he feels he has reached the limit of his ability to learn or grow in one role, he will look elsewhere for a new opportunity. What if the government could give Ian the opportunities and experiences he seeks?

The GovCloud concept proposed in this paper would restructure government workforces in a way that takes advantage of the talents and preferences of workers like Ian, who are entering the workforce today. The model is based on a large body of research, from interviews with public and private sector experts to best practices from innovative organizations both public and private.

“This is the first generation of people that work, play, think, and learn differently than their parents… They are the first generation to not be afraid of technology. It’s like the air to them.”

— Don Tapscott, author of Grown Up Digital

This report details trends in work and technology that offer significant opportunities for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the government workforce. It lays out the GovCloud model, explaining how governments could be organized to take advantage of its flexibility. It examines how work would be performed in the new model and discusses potential changes to government HR programs to support GovCloud. Other sections provide resources for executives, including a tool to help determine cloud eligibility, steps they can take to pilot the cloud concept, and future scenarios illustrating the cloud in action.

The GovCloud model represents a dramatic departure from the status quo. It is bound to be greeted with some skepticism. Without such innovation, however, governments will be left to confront the challenges of tomorrow with the workforce structure of yesterday. The details of the GovCloud model are open for debate. The purpose of this paper is to jumpstart that debate.

HOW WE WORK TODAY—AND TOMORROW

Forty years ago, more than half of employed American adults worked in either blue-collar or clerical jobs. Today, less than 40 percent work in these same categories, and the share continues to shrink.1 Jobs requiring routine or manual tasks are disappearing, while those requiring complex communication skills and expert thinking are becoming the norm.2 Increasingly, employers seek workers capable of creative and knowledge-based work.

“We should ask ourselves whether we’re truly satisfied with the status quo. Are our workday lives so fulfilling, and our organizations so boundlessly capable, that it’s now pointless to long for something better?”

— Gary Hamel, author of The Future of Management

The next generation of creative knowledge workers has already entered the job market. These “Millennials” came of age in a rapidly and radically changing world. They are the first true digital “natives.” They have grown up with instant access to information through technology. As such, Millennials have considerably different expectations for the kind of work they do and the information they use. The pursuit for variety in work has led Millennials to cite simply “needing a change” as their top reason for switching jobs.3

Advances in technology have also  changed the real ways in which people perform work. The ability to crowdsource tasks is one example of this change. Since its founding in 2001, volunteers have produced and contributed to over 19 million articles in 281 languages on Wikipedia.4 Built around this concept, a burgeoning industry is developing around “microtasking,” dividing work up into small tasks that can be farmed out to workers. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, rolled out in 2005, allows users to post tasks to a platform where registered workers can accept and complete them for a small fee. When this paper was written, more than 195,000 tasks were available on Mechanical Turk.5

Such technologies may offer suitable possibilities for the public sector. Microtask, a Finnish cloud labor company, maintains Digitalkoot, a program that helps the Finnish National Library convert its image archives into digital text and correct existing errors. It does so with volunteered labor; participants simply play a game in which they are shown the image of a word and then must type it out to help a cartoon character cross a bridge. In doing so, they are turning scanned images into searchable text, greatly improving the search accuracy of old manuscripts.6 At present, more than 100,000 people have completed over 6 million microtasks associated with this project.7

As the pace of computing power and machine learning increases, professors Frank Levy and Richard Murnane contend that more tasks will move from human to computer processing.8 Skeptics need look no further than IBM’s Watson, a computer that can answer questions posed in natural language. In February 2011, Watson defeated two all-time champions of the quiz show Jeopardy! This was not solely a publicity stunt; IBM hopes to sell Watson to hospitals and call centers to help them answer questions from the public.9

Around the globe, more and more governments are looking to increase telework among employees. In 2010, the U.S. government passed legislation calling for more telework opportunities for government employees. Likewise, the Australian government, in order to attract and retain information and communications technology workers, instituted a teleworking policy in 2009 requiring agencies to implement flexible work plans.10 Other countries, including Norway and Germany, are also focusing on flexible work arrangements to Boost public sector recruiting.11 In Canada, the government has an official telework policy that recognizes “changes are occurring in the public service workforce with a shift towards more knowledge workers,” and “encourages departments to implement telework arrangements.”12

Cloud definitions

Cloud computing: “Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand, like electricity.”

— Amazon

Crowdsourcing: “Neologistic compound of crowd and outsourcing for the act of taking tasks traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing them to a group of people or community, through an “open call” to a large group of people (a crowd) asking for contributions.”

— Wikipedia

GovCloud: “A new model for government based on team collaboration, whereby workforce resources can be surged to provide services to government agencies on-demand.”

— GovLab

Source: Frank Levy and Richard J. Murnane, The New Division of Labor: How Computers are Creating the Next Job Market, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004), p. 50.

Figure 1: Trends in routine and non-routine tasks in the U.S. 1960-200213


These are all powerful steps in the right direction for employees whose natural work rhythms are not locked into “9 to 5.” Some companies have taken telework one step further. British Telecom is pushing the concept of “agile working” through its Workstyle Project, where employees decide what work arrangements best suit them—rather than a rigid definition by location and hours. BT Workstyle is one of the largest flexible working projects in Europe, with over 11,000 home-based workers. BT has found that its “home-enabled” employees are, on average, 20 percent more productive than their office-based colleagues.14

Similarly, U.S. electronics retailer Best Buy experimented with a “Results Only Work Environment” (ROWE). In a ROWE, what matters is not whether employees are in their office, but rather that they complete their work and achieve measurable outcomes. In a ROWE, salaried employees must put in as much time as is actually needed to do their work—no more, no less.

The decline in routine and manual tasks and the rise of new ways of working is not isolated to the private sector. In 1950, the U.S. federal workforce largely comprised clerks performing repetitive tasks. About 62 percent performed these tasks, while only 11 percent performed more “white-collar” work. By 2000, those relationships were reversed. Fifteen percent performed repetitive tasks, compared to 56 percent in the white-collar categories.16 Similarly, in 1944, the number of workers in the UK civil service considered “industrial” totaled 505,000. By 2003, this number fell to 18,200, with “non-industrial” workers reaching 538,000 in 2004.17 And in Canada, in 2006, knowledge-based workers represented 58 percent of federal workers in the Core Public Administration, up from 41 percent 11 years earlier.18

The swelling ranks of “non-industrial” government workers indicate a shift in public sector jobs toward creative, collaborative, and complex work. The workforce structure, however, designed for clerks of the last century, remains largely the same. With limited flexibility to distribute resources, governments often address change by creating new agencies and programs. This can be seen following major events like the outbreaks of the Avian flu and SARs in the past decade, 9/11, and the financial crisis of 2008.

Source: United States Office of Personnel Management, A Fresh Start for Federal Pay: A Case for Modernization (April 2002), p. 5. http://www.opm.gov/strategiccomp/whtpaper.pdf

Figure 2: The changing U.S. federal workforce 1950–200015


Given increasing budgetary pressures and burgeoning national debts, the conventional model of creating new agencies or permanent structures in response to new challenges is unsustainable. This is exacerbated by our inability to accurately predict future needs and trends. Consider a 1968 Business Week article proclaiming that “the Japanese auto industry isn’t likely to carve out a big share of the market for itself,” or the president of Digital Equipment Corporation, who in 1977 said, “[t]here is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”19

The world is full of experts who attempt to predict the future—and fail.20

Instead of endeavoring to predict the future, governments can choose to create a flexible workforce that can quickly adapt to future work requirements. To accomplish this, the  government can learn from a game-changing concept in the technology world: cloud computing.

Major organizations and small startups alike increase their flexibility by sharing storage space, information, and resources in a “cloud,” allowing them to quickly scale resources up and down as needed. Why not apply the cloud model to people? The creation of a government-wide human cloud could provide significant benefits, including:

  • The ability to apply resources when and where they are needed
  • Increased knowledge flow across agencies and a new focus on broad, government-wide missions
  • A reduction in the number of permanent programs
  • Fewer structures that stifle creativity and interfere with the adoption of new technologies and innovations

A cloud-based government workforce or “GovCloud” could include workers who perform a range of creative, problem-focused work. Rather than being slotted into any single government agency, cloud workers would be true government-wide employees.

BREAKING UP BUREAUCRACIES

This section outlines the organizational structure of the GovCloud model, which rests on three main pillars: a cloud of government workers, thin executive agencies, and shared services.

The cloud

Most government workforce models tend to constrain workers by isolating them in separate agencies.

Consider the 2001 outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the United Kingdom and the subsequent slaughter of more than 6 million pigs, sheep, and cattle. The problem of an impacted food supply is complicated. In most countries, multiple agencies focus on agriculture, food production, and public health. In the United Kingdom, the army and even tourism ministries were impacted by the outbreak as agencies became overwhelmed by the number of animals in need of disposal and by the cordoning off of tourist areas to prevent the spread of the disease.Yet the structure of government agencies often confines employees to work in information silos, creating inherent operational inefficiencies. In a cloud workforce model, experts in each area could be pulled together to support remedies and propose coordinated corrective measures.

“I want someone saying: ‘Did you know that the Ministry of Justice is doing that, or could you piggy-back on what the communities department is doing, or had you thought about doing it in this way?’ You’ve got to get away from thinking about centralized command and control.”  

— Dame Helen Ghosh, Permanent Secretary, UK Home Office 21

The FedCloud model


The GovCloud model could become a new pillar of government, comprising permanent employees who undertake a wide variety of creative, problem-focused work. As needed, the GovCloud model could also take advantage of those outside government, including citizens looking for extra part-time work, full-time contractors, and individual consultants.

Cloud workers would vary in background and expertise but would exhibit traits of “free-agent” workers—self-sufficient, self-motivated employees who exhibit a strong loyalty to teams, colleagues, and clients. Daniel Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, argues that 33 million Americans—one-quarter of the workforce— already operate as free agents.22

According to the white paper, “Lessons of the Great Recession,” from Swiss staffing company Adecco, contingent workers—those who chose non-traditional employment arrangements23—are expected to eventually make up about 25 percent of the global workforce.24These more autonomous workers, according to Pink, are better suited to 21st-century work, and are more productive—even without traditional monetary incentives.25

Benefits of the cloud

The fluid nature of the cloud can provide significant benefits:

  • Knowledge exchange: Avoids “trapping” knowledge within any single agency. The fluidity of the cloud allows for the quick connection of knowledge with the people who need it.
  • Adaptability: Allows the government to concentrate resources where needed. The cloud would make federal work more adaptable and focused on cross-cutting outcomes.
  • Collaboration: Encourages collaboration, whether in person or virtually, through the expanded use of video conferencing, collaborative tools, and electronic communication.
  • Focus resources: Teams can be formed quickly and dissolved when their work is concluded, reducing the likelihood of government structures continuing to operate after they are no longer needed.26

The nature of the cloud—teams forming and dissolving as their tasks require—encourages workers to focus on specific project outcomes rather than ongoing operations.

Benefits of thin agencies

Thin agency structures could lead to:

  • Simplified mission accountability and responsibility
  • A greater focus on mission outcomes rather than on back-office management

Benefits of shared services

Greater use of shared services could allow the federal government to:

  • Reduce redundant back-office structures
  • Consolidate real estate obligations and data centers
  • Create a government-wide support structure capable of supporting the GovCloud

The need to support some ongoing missions will remain, of course. These missions will be carried out by thin agencies.

Under the cloud concept, federal agencies would remain focused on specific missions and ongoing oversight. These agencies, however, would become “thinner” as many of their knowledge workers transfer into the cloud. Thin agencies could also create opportunities to streamline organizations with overlapping missions.

Employees working in thin agencies could fall into two main categories:

  • Mission specialists: These are subject matter experts who possess knowledge central to the mission of the agency or tied to one geographic location. Examples include agency executives, policy experts, and others with knowledge that is closely aligned with the mission of a specific agency (e.g., foresters, tax code specialists). Mission certified also could enter the cloud, based on the specific needs of other agencies.
  • Frontline workers: These are employees who represent the “face” of government to citizens—law enforcement officers, investigators, regulators, entitlement providers, etc.—and who interact with citizens on a regular basis. As the nature of frontline work typically does not lend itself to the cloud, these employees would still align with individual agencies.

GovCloud could change the highest levels of public sector workers as we know them today. The Senior Executive Service in the United States, Permanent Secretaries and Directors General in the United Kingdom and Australia—all such senior officials could rotate between agencies, shared services, and the cloud, which would reflect the original intent behind many of these high-level offices: giving executives a breadth of experience in roles across government to help develop shared values and a broad perspective. An important benefit of rotation would be the ability to tap into cloud networks to assemble high-performing teams.

To further focus agencies on specific missions, many of their back-office support functions could be pulled into government-wide shared service arrangements.

The use of shared services in government has come and gone in waves—usually dictated by fiscal necessity. Most countries in Europe, as part of their e-government strategies, have placed increased focus of late on developing shared services, whether through an executive agency or a CIO, as well as working with EU coordination activities. And while the decentralized governments of some EU countries—such as Germany—make shared services more difficult, these countries are using states and agencies to pilot innovative approaches.27

Other efforts around the world include the U.S e-Government Act of 2002, which examined how technology could be used to cut costs and Boost services. More recently, the New Zealand government appointed an advisory group in May 2011 to explore public sector reform to Boost services and provide better value. In their report, “Better Public Services,” the advisory group recommended the use of shared services to Boost effectiveness in a variety of government settings, including policy advice and real estate.29 Following up on this, three New Zealand agencies—the Department of the Prime Minister, the State Services Commission, and the Treasury—announced in December 2011 that they would share such corporate functions as human resources and information technology.30 And though shared services in Western Australia were shut down, other projects in South Australia are moving ahead and already showing savings.31

Shared Services Canada

In August 2011, the government of Canada announced the launch of Shared Services Canada, a program that seeks to streamline and identify savings in information technology. Among its first targets is something as mundane as email. But with more than 100 different email systems being used by government employees, the potential savings and boost to efficiency could be significant. Not only do these incompatible systems cost money by requiring individual departments to negotiate and maintain separate licenses and technical support, it also makes it difficult for government employees to communicate with one another and with the public. And with no single standard, ensuring the security of information transmitted over email becomes more challenging. Shared Services Canada will move the government to one email system as well as consolidate data centers and networks—ultimately looking for anticipated savings of between CA$100 million and CA$200 million annually.28

While the idea of using shared services is not a novel one, it is central to the GovCloud model. The GovCloud model envisions building upon effective practices and those shared services already in operation to deliver services like human resources, information technology, finance, and acquisitions government-wide. Workers in these shared services would include subject matter experts in areas like human resources and information technology, as well as generalists, who support routine business functions.

The potential for shared services continues to grow. As seen with IBM’s Watson and Microtask’s Digitalkoot, new technologies provide an opportunity to accelerate the automated delivery of basic services. Some agencies already have begun capitalizing on these trends. For example, NASA has moved its shared service center website to a secure government cloud, facilitating greater employee self-service and helping to reduce demand on finite call center resources.32

WHO BELONGS IN THE CLOUD?

This decision tool is designed to help leaders determine which employees are appropriate for each of the three structures in the GovCloud model—the cloud, thin agencies, and shared services.

To the cloud…


GovCloud Project Lifecycle


REINVENTING HR

Managing employees in the cloud will require governments to reinvent human resource management. Individual and team performance evaluations, career development, pay structures, and benefits and pensions would need to change to support GovCloud. This section examines possibilities for HR reinvention, including performance management, career development, workplace flexibility, and benefits.

Performance and career management

Employees working in the cloud would require an alternative to determine pay and career advancement. The government could take its cues from the gaming world and evaluate cloud workers with a point system.

“The manager as we know it will disappear— to be replaced by a new sort of business operative whose expertise is assembling the right people for particular projects.”

—Daniel Pink, author of Free-Agent Nation 33

An HR management system that incorporates the accumulation of experience points (XP) through effective work on cloud projects, training, education, and professional certifications could replace the tenure-centric models for cloud employees.

Why experience points (XP)?

  • Rewards team players: Creates incentives not only to perform well as an individual but also to be a valuable collaborative team member and to continue one’s personal development
  • Manages performance: Allows governments to shift focus from time in grade to a more holistic performance management scheme
  • Fits work style: Capitalizes on the work style of Millennials, who value performance over tenure
  • Creates right incentives: Takes advantage of “gamification” concepts to incentivize desired behaviors
  • Lets workers own their careers: Allows workers to take personal ownership over the management of their careers, including their professional development and work-life integration

As employees accumulate XP, they could “level up” and take on additional responsibilities in future projects. Workers in the cloud could earn XP in four ways:

  • Education and training: Employees earn XP based on advanced degrees, continuing education courses, and professional certification.
  • Social capital: Employees could earn XP with high social capital scores based on their participation in GovCloud collaboration and networking.
  • Leadership: taking on additional leadership responsibilities in cloud teams could raise individual XP scores.
  • Projects: Projects in the cloud could be worth a certain number of XP, based on their scope and complexity and team performance. Project managers could award additional XP based on employee level, individual performance, and peer evaluation.

Breaking down silos: DEFRA

After some high-profile incidents—slow responses to outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease, flooding that may have been preventable, and a farming subsidy system that seemed to result in more chaos than aid—the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) was looking to reinvent itself. In 2006, the department launched DEFRA Renew. One of its key goals was to bring the department’s policymaking closer to real delivery to create more responsive processes.

Organized, mainly by policy, with fixed teams, DEFRA had been unable to redeploy resources as needed in response to a crisis. As part of DEFRA Renew, a new operating model was implemented that used flexible resourcing where staff were assigned to specific projects for fixed periods. This allowed management to measure and build the required capabilities and competencies needed and to allocate resources efficiently to Boost overall service quality. New roles were also created to support sustainable staff development and resource management in the new model.

To create buy-in for such a fundamental culture shift within the department, a facilitative approach to decision-making was employed. Change management programs and mentoring were extended to all levels of the department, including leadership. New mechanisms—such as approval panels for resources and the use of business cases—also worked to push changes among staff and promote collaborative behavior.

DEFRA Renew was widely recognized as a key enabler in the department meeting required efficiency improvement targets set by the UK government. DEFRA moved to a more project-based approach, with fewer staff in core teams. According to Dame Helen Ghosh, former Permanent Secretary of DEFRA, they could be more responsive now that “the management board won’t be made up of director generals with individual policy silos.”34

Just as XP could be gained through learning new skills, it could be lost in the following three ways:

  • Failure to apply skills: Workers could earn XP for training, but lose these points if they do not use the resulting skills on projects.
  • Down time: One would expect some cloud employees to be between projects at any given time, and indeed this provides the capacity to surge when demands require. That said, employees who spend too much time away from project work could lose XP.
  • Poor project performance: Employees who receive less-than-satisfactory ratings on individual performance reviews, peer evaluations, or team performance could lose XP.

Salary and benefits

Any serious discussion about creating a new class of government employees requires a fresh look at employee benefits and compensation. For example, XP could be used to help determine workers’ salaries, but additional research into alternative pension and benefit programs is needed. While any discussion on compensation could be contentious, a healthy debate among stakeholders from across the government should be welcomed.

Career paths

As new roles emerge in the cloud, so too could new career paths. Career emphasis could move away from time served in a particular pay grade and toward milestones that are meaningful for employee development.

Each worker may have different career aspirations. For instance, not all workers aspire to management; some may seek to master a particular subject area instead. Career advancement in the cloud would not equate to moving up a ladder, but rather moving along a lattice.

Lattice GovCloud Model


Here’s how the lattice could work for Ian, who we met in the introduction.

  • The early years: A few years after being hired into the human resources shared service straight out of school, Ian has been exposed to a wide variety of agencies. Through these interactions, he realizes he has become passionate about the field of social work.
  • Seeking a change: Ian decides to leave federal service and pursue a master’s degree in social work, and then take a job at his state’s social services agency. After a few years, Ian accepts a position as director of a mid-sized non-profit.
  • Returning to GovCloud: After years of running the non-profit, Ian begins thinking about government service again. He decides to join GovCloud by working just a few hours a week. After working part-time on projects that require social work experience, Ian decides to return full-time. To more effectively manage social programs, Ian seeks out all the performance measurement training he can find.
  • Finding a niche: Ian becomes well versed in performance measurement, first for social programs, but he quickly learns how to apply those concepts elsewhere. When his social work experience isn’t needed, he can also lend performance measurement knowledge from the cloud.
  • Winding down: As he nears retirement, Ian wants to help train the next generation of social workers by teaching one course per semester at a local university. However, he is able to remain connected to GovCloud and spend one or two days a week working with social programs and measuring the performance of other projects.

“Think of the lattice as a jungle gym. The best opportunities to broaden your experience may be lateral or even down. Look every which way and swing to opportunities.”

— Pattie Sellers, Fortune editor at large

Cathleen Benko and Molly Anderson, the authors of The Corporate Lattice, argue that the corporate ladder is giving way to a lattice that accommodates flatter, more networked organizations; improves the integration of career and life; focuses on competencies rather than tenure; and helps increase workforce loyalty.35 The lattice metaphor allows employees to choose many ways to “get ahead.”

Learning

It is unlikely that all workers will thrive in the new GovCloud environment right out of the gate. As such, it would be important to assess a worker’s readiness before placing her in GovCloud and providing training on core competencies critical to cloud success. There could also be opportunities to start workers, especially those at earlier stages of a career, within an agency or shared service to build up expertise in some area before “graduating to the cloud.” Once in the cloud, new workers could be paired with mentors, who are more experienced, to help navigate the cloud experience itself.

There should be an emphasis on continuous learning in the cloud. It would be important for cloud workers to continue to refine their skills, develop additional expertise, and adapt to new ways of working. Not only could continuous learning affect workers’ career mobility by increasing the depth and breadth of their skills, but it could also impact their salary and level by increasing their XP.

Learning and development in the cloud could take on many themes of “next learning.” Next learning focuses on creating personalized learning experiences that leverage the latest technologies and collaborative communities to deliver education and learning programs that build knowledge bases and promote learning as a focus and passion, not just a checkbox in a career.36

To broaden cloud worker skills and the ability to handle multiple tasks and work on a variety of projects, cloud learning could include the following principles:37

  • Video: The use of video learning could bring an in-person feel to trainings for cloud workers. Further, it could allow for more meaningful mentor relationships, even over long distances. This is an important component of a highly virtual workplace.
  • Social and collaborative learning: Use the wisdom of the cloud (and beyond) to create a collaborative learning environment.
  • Learning projects: In an environment where cloud workers are completing microtasks or participating in projects, design training to reflect this, helping to hone collaboration and other skills that will be important in the cloud.
  • Learning and leading in a distributed workplace: Workers who ascend to positions of leadership will need more than the traditional essentials of leadership to get them there. They will need to learn how to motivate and manage employees in a distributed environment, which requires an emphasis on communication, accountability, trust, and performance.
  • Building knowledge bases and connectivity for learning:Elective knowledge management will be critical in the Gov Cloud environment. This is just as important for training as for project information. Make knowledge gained in one area available elsewhere by tagging and promoting content for others to see. This can complement social learning by allowing users to bookmark or promote effective learning channels.

Workplace flexibility

In the cloud, careers and expertise will be built in new ways and work will be something we do, rather than a place we go to. As such, the cloud will give workers more control over their schedules and workloads. By creating a flexible workplace, governments could shed a significant amount of physical infrastructure and create shared workspaces. Many buildings could be converted into co-located spaces; teams could use collaboration spaces or videoconferencing centers.

Some workers might rarely set foot in a government building, instead conducting cloud tasks at home and interacting with project teams virtually. With advancing communications and mobile technology, distance no longer hinders collaboration. It no longer matters whether all workers are at an office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.; what matters is whether project teams produce results and whether everyone contributes.

A more flexible workplace could also take advantage of resources governments might not otherwise have access to. Some retiring workers may not want to quit working altogether, and a flexible model could be an enticing way to keep their expertise on retainer. Alternatively, the model could take advantage of would-be government employees unwilling to relocate or unable to work a regular schedule. By increasing flexibility, governments could increase their available resource pool, allowing agencies to access the skills and knowledge they need, when they need it. For an example of how a retiree could interact with the cloud, see Appendix C: National Security Case Study.

U.S. State Department pilots the cloud

Don’t think governments will ever take to the cloud? At the U.S. Department of State, the idea could soon be a reality. The Office of eDiplomacy is preparing to pilot a cloud component to its e-internship model for American students as part of the Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS), beginning this year. The VSFS currently offers e-internships to U.S. university students of multiple month duration. By using a new micro-volunteering platform, State Department offices and embassies around the world will be able to create non-classified tasks that take anywhere from a couple of minutes to a couple of days to complete. Each task will be tagged by region and/or issue and will automatically populate the profiles of students who have indicated those interests. Students can then select the tasks that interest them the most or that fit into their schedule.

To see that the most pressing work is performed first, offices and embassies will be able to prioritize their tasks, so critical items appear at the top of the queue. Imagine a small embassy preparing for a high-profile, multilateral meeting. The preparations for such an event could be daunting for a small staff. The power of the cloud could augment an individual embassy’s capacity to prepare for a major event and ensure that related items are performed ahead of those that are less critical.

While there are plenty of incentives for participating in the VSFS micro-volunteering platform—from an impressive line on a student’s resume to the chance to make a difference by working on syllabus of interest—thought is being put into how to creatively incent high performance. One idea is to simply invoke students’ competitive spirit. Competition could be encouraged by a monthly leader board, which results in bragging rights and, potentially, even a low-cost, but high-impact reward. Transparency is also key to competition: with ratings available to State Department staff and other cloud interns and the ability to make short thank you notes from embassies publicly available, interns would be eager to make a good impression.

The potential applications of this type of program are significant. Imagine if offices throughout the State Department could tap into the language and cultural expertise of the thousands of foreign national staff members around the globe. Providing a platform for those employees to contribute even a small amount of time to discreet tasks that require their expertise could unlock a world of knowledge.38

TAKING THE FIRST STEPS

Creating the GovCloud model will require bold leadership and the ideas and initiatives of entrepreneurial executives. While a GovCloud model may be years in the making, agencies can begin adopting cloud concepts today.

  • Build collaboration spaces: Make interoffice collaboration easier. Create physical spaces in your office where employees can casually spend time sharing information across departments. Provide employees with several hours per week to devote to collaborative efforts with other areas of the agency that interest them.
  • Rotate your people: Embrace the Millennials’ aptitude for change. Create a rotational program that allows staff members to work across departments and specialties. As your organization realizes the value of a broader perspective, you can pursue rotation among agencies or even secondments (rotations between the nonprofit, private, and public sectors).
  • Start a volunteer cloud: Plant the seeds for the cloud by allowing workers to seek tasks beyond their current responsibilities. Start by providing a platform for managers to post issues or problems they need help in solving. Allow employees to help with projects or tasks that interest them. This will allow them to expand their networks, build new skills,   and chase their passions.
  • Pilot a GovCloud: Only experience will bring people to understand the power of the cloud. A few agencies could bring the cloud to life by moving resources to a pilot cloud workforce. This would allow them to document lessons learned and determine the viability of the cloud on a wider scale. Use the GovCloud decision tree to help determine who could thrive in the cloud.

One step toward the cloud: Secondments and temporary project teams

The Ontario Public Service (OPS) has significant experience with building as-needed project teams to support specific, high-priority projects using staff brought in from other departments for short-term secondments. What allows this to work is a flexible HR framework that supports and facilitates staff secondments as developmental opportunities. The HR framework contributes to a culture that recognizes and rewards the experience secondees gain in these high-profile work assignments. OPS employees are generally eager to participate in these projects and are typically rewarded throughout their careers for the skills they acquire.39

Implementing GovCloud

The GovCloud concept is designed to be versatile as well as applicable to a wide range of entities. Depending on your organization, government executives wishing to employ GovCloud may choose to apply the concept first to a unit, before expanding to other branches or divisions, entire agencies, or the whole of government.

Often, GovCloud principles are most effectively implemented as part of a larger reform program within a particular agency—as with the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ Renew program, as described earlier in this report. On a smaller scale, the UK Cabinet Office used flexible resourcing (FR) in its Economic Reform Group (ERG), with a staff of about 400, as part of its cost-reduction plans. Using a simple database that it had developed and a strong program of communications, FR is now used and embraced by all core ERG employees, with strong, clear ownership from the top—another key implementation factor. Says Ian Watmore, the UK Cabinet Office’s former permanent secretary, FR means “we are able to deploy people much more quickly to priority projects.”40

Figure 3 outlines how GovCloud can apply to a variety of organizations.

THE ROAD AHEAD

Most government workforces haven’t undergone a broad restructuring in decades. In that time, the world has been transformed by computers, the Internet, and mobile communications.

To respond to a variety of challenges, governments have created scores of new organizations. However, in today’s world of budget cuts and increased fiscal scrutiny, the constant creation of new, permanent structures is not sustainable.

The GovCloud model could offer a new way to use government resources. A cloud of government-wide workers could coalesce into project-based teams to solve problems and separate when their work is done. This could allow governments to concentrate resources when and where they are needed. By using this model in conjunction with thinner agencies and shared services, governments can reduce back-office redundancies and let agencies focus on their core missions.

This model capitalizes on the work preferences of Millennials—the future government workforce—who value career growth over job security or compensation.41 The GovCloud model allows employees to gain a variety of experiences in a shorter amount of time and to self-select their career direction.

To support GovCloud, governments could establish the processes by which cloud teams would form, work, and dissolve. New ways to evaluate performance and help workers gain skills and build careers should be considered. Today’s employee classification system stresses job descriptions and time in service; this could be transformed with an XP model that emphasizes the individual’s ownership of his or her career.

The GovCloud model will undoubtedly be controversial. Many stakeholders, from governing bodies to public employee unions, must weigh in to shape the future government workforce. The transition to a cloud model will not happen overnight or maybe even in the next five years, but the conversation starts today.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Charlie Tierney

Charlie Tierney is a Manager in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Federal Human Capital Practice and a former GovLab Fellow. He has served clients in the intelligence community. He graduated from the University of Kansas with a BA in Chinese History and minor in Mandarin, and is currently pursuing his Masters in Business Administration at the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business.

Steve Cottle

Steve Cottle was a GovLab Fellow and a Senior Consultant in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Federal Strategy & Operations practice. There, he served multiple clients within the Department of Homeland Security. Steve graduated from Boston College with a BA in International Studies and German and received a Fulbright Grant to study international security in Germany. Steve is currently pursuing his Masters in Public Policy at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute.

Katie Jorgensen

Katie Jorgensen was a GovLab Fellow and Consultant in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Federal Strategy & Operations practice. There, she served multiple clients in the Federal Railroad Administration and Transportation Security Administration. Katie received her BA in American Studies from Georgetown University. Katie is currently pursuing her Masters in Business Administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Originally published by Deloitte University Press on dupress.com. Copyright 2015 Deloitte Development LLC.

Mon, 06 Jun 2022 21:38:00 -0500 text/html https://www.theatlantic.com/sponsored/deloitte-shifts/govcloud-the-future-of-government-work/260/
Killexams : FYIC Classes

BUS 101 : Foundations of Business

Foundations of Business introduces students to the foundational concepts of business and allows students to develop essential skills, including critical and creative thinking, communication and collaboration and ethical decision-making. Students will learn to identify their own unique thinking preferences and their personal and professional goals. They will create a personal development plan, which outlines goals for their time at the Farmer School of Business. Students will also develop the skills to work collaboratively, working on several team assignments throughout the course.

After completing this class, students will be able to:

  • Understand the key concepts and basic functions of business.
  • Apply ethical thinking to the business environment.
  • Collaborate as part of a team and manage team dynamics.
  • Identify how globalization and diversity impact the current business climate.
  • Develop the habits necessary to achieve professional and personal goals at the Farmer School of Business.

BUS 102: Foundations of Business Communications

The ability to write and speak well are critical skill sets for business professionals. This course provides students with the opportunity to develop the communication and collaboration skills necessary for business success. Students will learn foundational rhetorical strategies for crafting effective written and oral communications through a series of business-oriented projects, including: Developing Business Relationships, Presenting Professional Credentials, Delivering Research Findings, and Making Recommendations. For these projects, students will write professional emails, resumes, cover letters, and a short research-based report. They will each deliver a personal introduction presentation and participate in a mock panel interview. In teams, they will present key findings from an industry research report to their peers, and present a recommendation on a business problem to an real business client.

After completing this class, students will be able to:

  • Evaluate business communications for rhetorical effectiveness.
  • Compare and contrast business communication with other forms of communication.
  • Produce professional communications that are effective for audience, purpose, and context.
  • Use appropriate technologies for the design, development, and delivery of communications.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to plan, prepare, and deliver successful business communications that are consistent with professional standards.

ESP 103: Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurial Thinking

According to an IBM study of international CEOs, creativity is now the most important leadership quality for success in business. This class prepares students to succeed by learning the foundations of creativity and creative problem-solving in business. It operates like an entrepreneurial venture where students learn to leverage ambiguity and generate creative solutions to complex business problems. Students work both collaboratively and competitively to produce high quality work with unique value. The critical creative tools students focus on include failure, ambiguity, curiosity, idea generation, research, habits, diversity and collaboration, and project management.

After completing this class, students will be able to:

  • Assess the situation.
  • Identify key problems.
  • Explore options using divergent thinking.
  • Narrow choices using convergent thinking.
  • Develop and strengthen top ideas.
  • Select solutions as a team.

BUS 104: Introduction to Computational Thinking for Business

In this class, students learn basic coding principles using both Python and SQL. They create programs to address common business scenarios from multiple disciplines, such as finance and operations management. They also probe real-world client data for consumer insights to support a substantial group project. Students learn not only the mechanics of coding, but also the principles behind the process of coding. These principles—collectively known as computational thinking—strengthen analytic problem-solving skills and can be applied broadly to many aspects of work and life.

After completing this class, students will be able to:

  • Render data into useful information for problem-solving.
  • Apply computational thinking to business problems.
  • Gain insights from real-world data.
  • Draw relevant conclusions.
  • Communicate intelligently with modern technology.

A accurate Forbes magazine article applauded the Farmer School’s First Year Integrated Core, and specifically this class, for answering a growing need in the business world. The article quoted Information Systems & Analytics department chair, Skip Benamati, who said: "Companies are laser-focused on using data to inform their decision-making. Data and information are at the core of how companies compete today, and it's becoming more and more critical that graduates possess at least a basic understanding of how they work."

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 02:05:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://miamioh.edu/fsb/academics/fyic/classes/index.html
Killexams : Personal Identity Management System Software Market Growth, Opportunities, Ongoing Trends Size, Share and Forecast to 2028 By MRI

The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content.

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Table of Contents:

1 Report Overview

2 Market Trends and Competitive Landscape

3 Segmentation of Personal Identity Management System Software Market by Types

4 Segmentation of Personal Identity Management System Software Market by End-Users

5 Market Analysis by Major Regions

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7 North America Personal Identity Management System Software Landscape Analysis

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10 Latin America, Middle East & Africa Personal Identity Management System Software Landscape Analysis

11 Major Players Profile

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Mon, 01 Aug 2022 18:24:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/personal-identity-management-system-software-market-growth-opportunities-ongoing-trends-size-share-and-forecast-to-2028-by-mri-2022-08-02
Killexams : IDX Complete Review Tue, 12 Jul 2022 15:00:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/idx-privacy Killexams : Buckle up for Black Hat 2022: Sessions your security team should not miss

buckle-up-black-hat-2022-talks

Black Hat is set to return next week with two years of pent up cybersecurity research and discoveries. Here are the talks you don’t want to miss. 

Just because cybersecurity’s biggest conferences halted their productions these past two years, cybersecurity itself did not take a backseat. Continued advancements in the industry, plus non-stop cybercriminal activity have left the community with much to discuss as we reflect on the events that have unfolded since the start of the pandemic (think SolarWinds, Colonial Pipeline, and Log4j … just to name a few). 

After two years of cancellations and a halting return, Black Hat USA 2022 is set to return to Las Vegas next week in something close to its former glory. And with two years of pent up cybersecurity research and discoveries, there’s lots to look forward to. 

To help you plan your itinerary, we’ve compiled the Black Hat sessions we’re eager to attend, broken down by category.  

Keynotes

Chris Krebs: Black Hat at 25: Where Do We Go From Here?

Thursday at 9:00am

Since being unceremoniously sacked by then-President Trump for confirming that the 2020 presidential election was free of hacking incidents or tampering, Chris Krebs has been on the front lines helping private sector firms address their cyber risks, as a Founding Partner of Krebs Stamos Group (with former Facebook CISO Alex Stamos).

Krebs’ unique perspective as the Federal Government’s former top expert on cybersecurity and a highly valued private sector consultant makes his Black Hat keynote this year a “must see” event. In this talk, Krebs will reflect on where the InfoSec community stands today after convening in the desert for 25 years. His thoughts on where we stand? Not good. Krebs will outline how the industry needs to both shift its mindset and actions in order to take on the next 25 years of InfoSec. 

Kim Zetter: Pre-Stuxnet, Post-Stuxnet: everything Has Changed, Nothing Has Changed

Thursday at 9:00am

In the “deep perspective” category, Thursday’s keynote by award winning investigative cybersecurity journalist Kim Zetter is another “must see” event at Black Hat. Zetter has covered cybersecurity and national security since 1999, writing for WIRED, Politico, PC World and other publications. She is the author of Countdown to Zero Day, the definitive account of the creation of the Stuxnet malware, which was deployed against Iran. 

Zetter’s talk will focus on cyberattacks on critical infrastructure (CI) dating back to Stuxnet in 2010. Despite all of the changes in cybersecurity since Stuxnet was discovered, Zetter argues that nothing has really changed: continuous attacks on CI come as a surprise when the community should have seen these attacks coming. In this talk, Zetter will argue that attacks like Colonial Pipeline were foreseeable, and that the future’s attacks will be no different. 

Cyberwar

With a kinetic war ravaging cities and towns in Ukraine, the specter of cyberwar has taken a back seat. But behind the scenes, offensive cyber operations have played a pivotal role in Russia’s war on Ukraine, since long before Russian troops rolled across the border this past February. This year’s Black Hat has a number of interesting talks delving into the cyber aspects of the Ukraine conflict. They include: 

Industroyer2: Sandworms Cyberwarfare Targets Ukraine’s Power Grid Again

Wednesday at 10:20am

ESET’s Robert Lipovsky and Anton Cherepanov take us on a tour of the multiple forms of cyberwarfare that have taken place throughout Russia’s military operations against Ukraine, dating back to 2016 with the launch of the original Industroyer malware. Recently, a new version of the malware was discovered, known as Industroyer2, with the same goal of triggering electricity blackouts. In this talk, the ESET researchers will give a technical overview of this new malware, as well as the several other wiper malwares they discovered impacting Ukraine this past year.

Real ‘Cyber War’: Espionage, DDoS, Leaks, and Wipers in the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Wednesday at 3:20pm

Experts have been in agreement that cyber is a new threat of operation in military conflicts, but have disagreed on what form an real cyberwar might take. Russia’s war on Ukraine is putting much of that debate to rest. In this talk, SentinelOne’s Juan Andres Guerrero-Saade and Tom Hegel will give an overview of what cyberwarfare really is, versus what society’s collective assumptions are about the role of cyber in modern warfare.

They will specifically discuss the strains of wiper malware that have impacted Ukraine in 2022, considering that nation-state wiper malware prior to Russia’s war on Ukraine was rare. This discussion of various strains of wiper malware will help to show what we can realistically expect from cyberwarfare in the modern era. 

Securing open source and the software supply chain

The security of software supply chains and development organizations is another dominant theme at this year’s Black Hat Briefings, with a slew of talks addressing various aspects of supply chain risk and attacks (check out our analysis of the supply chain thread at Black Hat here). If you’re interested in learning more about how malicious actors may target your organization by exploiting weaknesses in your software supply chain, here are some talks to consider: 

Don’t get owned by your dependencies: how FireFox uses in-process sandboxing to protect itself from exploitable libraries (and you can too!)

Thursday at 2:30pm

PhD Student Shravan Narayan and Research Scientist Tal Garfinkel of UC San Diego’s Black Hat talk will focus on the threat of memory safety vulnerabilities in third party C libraries, which are a major source of zero-day attacks in today’s applications. Their research team has been using Firefox to test sandbox capabilities that could mitigate this threat, which led them to create RLBox: an open source language level framework. Their presentation will discuss how they came up with this tool, and how it can be applied to other applications.  

Scaling the security researcher to eliminate OSS vulnerabilities once and for all

Thursday at 3:20pm

Moderne Inc.’s Patrick Way, plus HUMAN Security’s Jonathan Leitschuh and Shyam Mehta will present their talk on how to manage open source software (OSS) in a way that best leverages researchers’ time, knowledge, and resources. The solution they propose is bulk pull request generation, which they will demonstrate on several real-world OSS projects during their presentation. Their goal is to fix vulnerabilities on a large, reasonable scale. 

Controlling the source: abusing source code management systems

Thursday at 3:20pm

Brett Hawkins, a Red Team Operator a part of IBM X-Force Red’s Adversary Simulation will discuss an overlooked, widely-used system that threat actors can exploit to carry out software supply chain attacks: Source Code Management (SCM) systems. His presentation will demonstrate how popular SCM systems can be easily exploited by attackers. Brett will also share an open source tool and defensive guidance that can be used to mitigate this threat. 

Threat hunting

It wouldn’t be Black Hat without discussions of vulnerabilities, threats, attacks and cyber defense. And this year’s show doesn’t disappoint. One clear theme in the schedule of talks is the growing prominence of “right of boom” tools and approaches in the cybersecurity community. A number of talks delve into new approaches to Boost the quality of incident response and threat hunting. They include:  

The Open Threat Hunting Framework: Enabling Organizations to Build, Operationalize, and Scale Threat Hunting

Wednesday at 2:30pm

The definition of threat hunting, and the practical application of it, varies across industries and technologies, making it difficult to start a threat hunting program from scratch that works best for your organization. But, too often, threat hunting floats above the security “poverty line” — inaccessible to organizations without sizable information security budgets and teams.

In this presentation, John Dwyer, Neil Wyler, and Sameer Koranne of IBM Security X-Force will share a new, free threat hunting framework. The team’s hope is that this framework will help to detect incidents that can be prevented by a reliable threat hunting program. 

No One Is Entitled to Their Own Facts, Except in Cybersecurity? Presenting an Investigation Handbook To Develop a Shared Narrative of Major Cyber Incidents

Wednesday at 3:20pm

Do the stories we tell ourselves (and others) about cyber incidents affect our ability to respond to them? Of course they do! In fact, developing a shared understanding of cyber incidents is critical to making sure they don’t happen again. Fortunately, we can look to other industries for the best way to do this.

In this talk, Victoria Ontiveros, a Researcher at Harvard Kennedy School talks about the findings of a report by Harvard’s Belfer Center that looks at how the aviation industry draws lessons from aviation incidents, and applies these lessons to cybersecurity incidents. This allowed her team and Tarah Wheeler, CEO of Red Queen Dynamics, Inc to create the Major Cyber Incident Investigations Playbook. In this talk, Ontiveros and Wheeler will be presenting this playbook, which is meant to make cyber incident investigations more actionable among the industry. 

A New Trend for the Blue Team — Using a Practical Symbolic Engine to Detect Evasive Forms of Malware/Ransomware

Wednesday at 4:20pm

Blue Teams have it rough. Constrained by time, staffing and budget, they need to choose carefully when deciding which threats to investigate and how best to direct their reverse engineering talent against suspected malware or ransomware binaries, while also navigating efforts by malicious actors to misdirect or even attack them.

In this talk, TXOne Networks Inc.’s Sheng-Hao Ma, Mars Cheng, and Hank Chen will highlight the efforts of real Blue Teams and share a new tool for the Blue Team known as the Practical Symbolic Engine, which they argue offers the best threat hunting techniques in a fully static situation. 

Come say hello to ReversingLabs at the show

The ReversingLabs team will be at Black Hat 2022. Stop at booth 2460 to chat with us. Our team will be giving out demos, presentations, plus limited-edition schwag. See you there!

Keep learning

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from ReversingLabs Blog authored by Carolynn van Arsdale. Read the original post at: https://blog.reversinglabs.com/blog/buckle-up-for-black-hat-2022-here-are-the-sessions-your-security-team-should-not-miss

Thu, 04 Aug 2022 02:38:00 -0500 by Carolynn van Arsdale on August 4, 2022 en-US text/html https://securityboulevard.com/2022/08/buckle-up-for-black-hat-2022-sessions-your-security-team-should-not-miss/ Killexams : SAP wants to offer a best of suite platform with S/4HANA, but still lacks adoption

SAP has been beating the drum for some time now with its “RISE with SAP”. We were particularly curious to see whether that message is getting through to customers and what SAP now exactly means with RISE. The goal of RISE is that you can grow your organization by using SAP solutions, where S/4HANA is the best of suite platform. But can the company deliver on that promise?

We spent a week at SAP Sapphire in Orlando, where we immersed ourselves in the world of SAP, doing multiple interviews with SAP executives, talking to customers, talking to partners and doing the research to find out where SAP is moving with RISE with SAP.

SAP has a broad product portfolio, from cloud ERP (S/4HANA), HCM and CRM to supply chain management and procurement. However, the fact is that ERP is still the most important SAP product, which also holds the most potential. To strengthen S/4HANA, SAP has built or purchased various solutions around it. The RISE with SAP story focuses entirely on S/4HANA supplemented with additional tools.

Everything is RISE with SAP: is that useful?

During Sapphire, we couldn’t ignore that SAP is moving towards a platform strategy, creating a “best of suite” offering around S/4HANA. In doing so, SAP is moving in the same direction as Microsoft, Salesforce and ServiceNow. It doesn’t seem to want to communicate this yet, or it simply doesn’t dare. Instead, they keep shouting “RISE with SAP”. That doesn’t help customers get a clear picture. reading between the lines, it is clear that people at SAP also have trouble with this slogan. We heard comments from various corners that say that SAP should call it by its name: “Cloud ERP as a service”, or if you want to position it more broadly, “Cloud ERP platform as a service”. “RISE with SAP” comes across to us as a somewhat bloated meaningless slogan, which SAP should not continue to use for too long. It doesn’t add anything and ultimately creates more confusion than clarity.

Best of Suite approach

If we zoom in deeper on that “best of suite” approach. Then we see that SAP is putting the S/4HANA ERP solution at the center. To strengthen the suite offering, SAP has purchased two solutions that add value. These are a Business Process Intelligence solution and a solution for no-code development.

The Process Intelligence solution is provided by SAP Signavio, a company that SAP acquired in early 2021. With Signavio, you can do process mining, among other things, to get visibility and make your business processes transparent, but also to automate them and make them more efficient. For companies that have a lot of business processes, this can be very useful. Process mining can save a lot of money, but it also helps to meet governance and compliance requirements better because you have better insight into your processes, making everything more transparent.

We mentioned it earlier, a form of no-code development; this falls under the SAP Business Technology Platform at SAP. For this purpose, SAP has acquired the company AppGyver. AppGyver allows the creation of simple applications via a drag-and-drop interface. For example, forms for quickly modifying or adding data. Or to display data from an ERP system in a slightly different way. SAP has already presented the first integrations of AppGyver in S/4HANA.

For companies that want to go a step further, SAP also has a low-code solution, this is the SAP Business Application Studio. The Business Application Studio allows you to build SAP applications and extensions that use the SAP Cloud Application Programming Model. In other words, you can use it to build extensions on top of existing SAP applications.

Of course, based on available documentation, you can also build integrations with SAP in any programming language of your choice. The fact is, however, that low-code and no-code increase the speed of application development and firmly lower the threshold for building something. In that respect, investing in no-code and low-code is a good strategy.

SAP Store broadens best of suite offering

To make this best of suite even more attractive, SAP is now paying more attention to its ISV partners (independent software vendors). They develop applications on top of S/4HANA, for example. They add valuable functionality, which can be in the form of features, but also complete solutions that use the reliable HANA database and back-end. Examples are the integration with Icertis for contract management, which delivers a complete contract management solution. Or what about PriceFX, they provide a feature to price your product more accurately.

However, this focus on ISVs has been developed in the last three years. In the meantime, SAP has signed up some 1,800 partners for the SAP Store, but at the same time, there is still a long way to go. SAP wants 8 out of 10 applications to come from partners rather than SAP itself. To make the SAP Store more attractive, it has decided to adjust the revenue distribution. Previously SAP wanted 50 percent of the revenue generated in the SAP Store, now SAP takes 15 percent for the Integration Tier and 25 percent for the Platform Tier. In theory, anyone can become an ISV partner of SAP, but the company still applies an extensive approval process.

To Boost the offering, SAP has now divided some 80 people into industry teams, whose task is to enhance the offering in the SAP Store for their specific industry. SAP has a lot of specific industry knowledge in-house because it has been in business for many years. The company should therefore be able to make the overall package more attractive for specific industries quickly. Whether it will succeed in doing so remains to be seen.

SAP should take a broader view

If you look at what is happening in enterprise IT, you see that one trend is precisely to do a lot of collaborating. Your worst enemy can become your best friend. All solutions must be able to work well together. At SAP, however, we still see some traditional thinking that gets in the way of this. The company has invested heavily in the SAP Store offering to enable better collaboration with, for example, Microsoft Teams and other Microsoft products. An integration with Slack, on the other hand, is out of the question, as Salesforce currently owns it. During an interview at Sapphire, we noted the following quote: “Slack is not an option, due to Salesforce acquisition”.

From this perspective, SAP will not encourage integrations with Salesforce or Tableau in the SAP Store. Salesforce is seen as a major competitor. That’s a traditional mindset that SAP needs to eradicate because it doesn’t benefit the customer. Suppose a customer has decided to choose Slack as an internal communication and collaboration tool. In that case, it should be able to work together with SAP just as well as Microsoft Teams can.

We also see this mindset when looking at opportunities to roll out SAP S/4HANA. You can roll out SAP S/4HANA cloud to your own data centre, AWS, Azure, Google Cloud or Alibaba. However, if your organization has chosen Oracle Cloud or IBM Cloud, SAP will block your deployment. This is absolutely not allowed and will never be an option, so we were told. We understand that the Oracle Cloud is at the bottom of the list if you’re SAP, but as long as you support S/4HANA on-premise, you better tell customers that any location is possible, including the Oracle Cloud.

SAP gets most S/4HANA business from SAP ECC customers

SAP currently has over 19,000 S/4HANA customers, of which over 1,600 have been added through the RISE with SAP program since the beginning of 2021. Those customers also have access to Signavio, Appgyver and other tools. SAP already manages around 56,000 workloads in the cloud with an uptime of 99.98%. SAP has established a good track record as an “as a service” provider.

It also became clear that SAP is signing up most S/4HANA customers through ECC migrations. These customers are running an old version of SAP ECC and have to migrate before 2027. Official support for SAP ECC expires in 2027, although customers can extend it for years for an additional fee. At least until 2030, possibly even 2035.

SAP ECC is SAP’s legacy on-premises ERP product. With SAP ECC, the trend was to build modifications in the source code to make the ERP system better fit the customer’s needs. A huge disadvantage of this practice is that you cannot upgrade to newer versions easily because you will lose those customizations. The market has solved this with the so-called fit-to-standard principle. Companies must let their business processes run via standard procedures that the ERP system supports. Additional customization also remains possible through extensions and modular software that can be built on top of the ERP system and that hooks up to the APIs of an ERP system. S/4HANA has been developed according to this principle. You have the S/4HANA ERP system, and you have separate applications that interact with it or modular blocks that become accessible within the ERP package. This is possible by using the available APIs and SDKs.

Integrating with SAP

So the key to success for SAP’s strategy with this best of suite platform approach lies in its ability to extend, link and integrate S/4HANA with other applications and solutions. To do this well, you need APIs, an application programming interface, which is a way for applications to communicate with each other in the background. With APIs, third-party applications can communicate with the SAP platform and exchange data. Of course, after permission and authentication have taken place first.

At the time of writing, S/4HANA has 585 APIs, and the SAP Business platform has over 450. So there are plenty of opportunities to link with SAP software. SAP customers have told us many times that it is complex to integrate with SAP because the data model and the APIs are pretty complicated. This was a big hurdle for potential ISVs. Our discussions with SAP made it clear that they also received this signal and developed the SAP BTP, the SAP Business Technology Platform. This includes the low-code and no-code solutions but also an iPaaS solution, SAP BTP Integration Suite. This has made it much easier to integrate your own software with SAP.

In addition, SAP has introduced a so-called One Domain Model. The One Domain Model allows you to use APIs to communicate with SAP uniformly, where data can be exchanged with different SAP applications using the same model. You no longer need to have a separate API set for each application. The integration between SAP applications is also a lot easier.

For companies that especially want a lot of access to data in SAP, but do not need to modify it so much, there is now the possibility to use the SAP Data Warehouse Cloud. In the SAP Data Warehouse Cloud you can bring together data from SAP solutions and data from third parties. So that you can then make it available for data science models, think machine learning and AI or analytics solutions to create better insights.

Will SAP S/4HANA be a good best-of-suite platform?

SAP’s strategy is clear if you can read between the lines or just got to this article. If you’ve been walking around on SAP Sapphire, then, unfortunately, it’s a lot less clear. As far as we are concerned, SAP should clearly outline which direction it is moving in and stop using slogans that cause confusion.

SAP is more or less reinventing itself. For years it has been pushing S/4HANA, now more as-a-service with all kinds of additional services, so it is starting to become a large platform with all kinds of applications around it and on top of it. As a result, it’s beginning to look more and more like a best-of-suite approach. However, some things could be better or are still challenging for SAP.

SAP Store

To start with, the offer in the SAP Store. That still leaves something to be desired, the adoption of the applications falls short. We hope that the 80 people who are now working on adding industry-specific applications or persuading partners to add them will be very successful. This is where SAP really lags behind the competition.

Furthermore, SAP would do well to invest heavily in low-code and no-code capabilities so that customers will make a greater contribution to building modular extensions. For this, SAP will also need to rig up more training courses and events to educate customers in no-code and low-code development.

Finally, SAP must abandon traditional competitive thinking and embrace anything and everything. If you want to play a central role as a platform, you cannot ignore top-rated solutions because a competitor owns them.

Integrate more SAP solutions

If SAP wants to offer the largest and most complete best-of-suite platform, it will need to add more SAP solutions. Also, SAP Ariba, SAP Concur, SAP SuccessFactors, and SAP CRM should all become part of that suite. With a complete best-of-suite platform, customers can do a broad SAP platform integration.

You also see this at Salesforce and Microsoft; many products are included by default within the subscription. Of course, there are still options to further scale up specific solutions at extra cost, but the primary offering should be broader and more solid.

Clear product range

The trend today in IT is also simplicity. A product can be very advanced, but the interface the user is presented with must be simple. As far as we are concerned, this also applies to the product portfolio. It must be clear, and customers must be able to quickly see what they are getting. As far as we are concerned, SAP could still be a bit clearer about the SAP Business Technology Platform and the SAP Business Process Intelligence package. What does it includes, and what can customers do with it?

If SAP can do all that, then Europe’s largest tech company can compete even more effectively with its mostly American competitors.

Fri, 05 Aug 2022 03:01:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.techzine.eu/blogs/applications/85381/sap-wants-to-offer-a-best-of-suite-platform-with-s-4hana-but-still-lacks-adoption/
Killexams : Shifting Our Aging Society From A Burden To An Asset

Each year the World Economic Forum publishes its Global Risks Report, which aims to outline the biggest threats facing society in the year ahead. The 2022 edition features many common sights, including climate action failure, extreme weather, and biodiversity loss. Such catastrophic events often succumb to the so-called availability heuristic, whereby we're naturally drawn to the things we're familiar with. In the case of the kind of threats posed in the Global Risks report, these are all risks that are commonly featured in the media, so perhaps take on added prominence in our thinking as a result.

A threat that has never been mentioned in all of the years the report has been published is the declining birth rate, yet this is a sufficient risk for Elon Musk to brand it the biggest threat to civilization at the Wall Street Journal's CEO Council Summit.

Nowhere is this more evident than in China, where the population is set to decline for the first time since the famine of 1959-1961. This is caused by a decline in fertility rate to 1.15 in 2021. They're far from alone, however, with Australia and the United States enjoying fertility rates of 1.6 and Japan at just 1.3.

Attitude towards age

While Musk's concerns have an existential element to them, in the short to medium-term, it means that our societies are going to get significantly older. That carries numerous challenges with it, but nowhere more so than in the workplace.

This is especially so in the tech sector, which has had longstanding agism issues. For instance, Facebook faced a couple of suits in 2017, Google paid out $11 million to over 200 job seekers in 2019, and IBM was involved in a civil case this year revolving around the description of older workers as "dino babies". They're far from alone, however, and data from Stack Overflow shows that the average age of developers is between 22 and 29, with less than 7% over 45.

This would be fine if we weren't in the midst of a widespread talent shortage. While the "great resignation" was driven by younger workers in its early stages, it is currently being driven by older, more tenured knowledge workers, with resignation rates among older workers growing by 34% in the last year.

It's perhaps no surprise, therefore, that UN figures suggest there will be around 30 million fewer people of working age in the world's five largest economies. That Total Jobs reveal that 80% of us are largely oblivious to this looming labor shortage does little to calm nerves either.

Aging society

With societies aging this represents a real opportunity to reverse matters. For instance, research from the European Commission suggests that the "silver economy" will be worth €5.7 trillion by 2025.

Such potential also exists in terms of the workforce. Research from the International Longevity Centre highlights the strong potential for a ‘longevity dividend’ underpinned by greater productivity as we age.

This seldom converts into the public discourse however, which tends to view aging as a burden as large numbers enter retirement and stop contributing to society, whilst at the same time drawing pensions and demanding larger shares of healthcare provision. This perception is compounded by difficulties in raising the retirement age or reducing entitlements for the elderly.

Joseph Coughlin, from MIT's AgeLab, perhaps summed it up best when he said that longevity was "the greatest achievement in the history of mankind and all we can say is, is it going to bankrupt Medicare?"

To capitalize on this potential, we need to rethink what it means to age, as a report from the U.K.’s Government Office for Science so ably demonstrates.

“As the population ages, so will the U.K. workforce. The productivity and economic success of the U.K. will be increasingly tied to that of older workers,” the authors explain. “Enabling people to work for longer will help society to support growing numbers of dependents, while providing individuals with the financial and mental resources needed for increasingly long retirements.”

Fixing our view

Such a future has numerous challenges to overcome, however. For instance, research from the University of Gothenburg highlights the stereotypes older workers face, as they're expected to have difficulty processing information, less interest in technology, and generally struggle to pick up new things.

This then feeds through into the performance of older workers, with research from Georgia State University highlighting how negative stereotypes undermine the physical and mental performance of older workers, such that the stereotypes become self-fulfilling.

It's perhaps no great surprise that research from the University of Basel finds that such an environment makes older workers feel excluded from the workforce.

Missing out

Of course, these stereotypes are not founded on any kind of real evidence. Research from the IZA Institute of Labor Economics highlights, for instance, how older people are just as capable of learning new things as their younger peers. The study finds that people who are close to retiring are just as interested in learning new skills as their younger peers, even if there is no strict need for them to do so.

Similarly, there is no evidence that older people are any less creative or entrepreneurial. In fact, quite the opposite is true. accurate research from MIT and Northwestern University highlights how older entrepreneurs can often be more successful than their younger peers.

The research reveals that entrepreneurial success for the under 25s is as rare as a lesser spotted unicorn. Success rates then increase later in one’s 20s and don’t decrease even into one’s 50s. Indeed, the authors note that the average age of company founders in the United States is a veritable 41.9 years of age, with the highest-growth startups being founded by entrepreneurs with 45 years under their belt. What’s more, a 50-year-old entrepreneur was 1.8 times more likely to achieve high growth than a founder in their 30s.

What's more, research from Flinders University highlights how older workers are often crucial for surviving the kind of turbulence that we're currently experiencing.

“Mature adults demonstrate considerable resilience,” the researchers say. “The aspect of role modeling resilience is an especially important influence on younger workers. It includes mature coping strategies, emotional intelligence and empathy—and these attributes have never been more important in the workforce.”

An age-friendly workplace

Research from Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business explores how organizations can encourage older workers to stick around long enough for that knowledge to be retained. The analysis found that the type of work environment was key, with autonomy, information sharing, a range of developmental opportunities, involvement in decision-making, and good compensation and benefits typifying the kind of environment that appeals to older workers.

This was built upon by a second study, from Massey Business School, which involved a survey of nearly 1,250 New Zealand workers over 55 years of age, and four key factors emerged in helping organizations retain and engage older workers:

  1. Provide more flexible working arrangements
  2. Train managers and recruiters to both identify and overcome potential age-related biases
  3. Champion a more positive attitude towards older workers, especially among senior management
  4. Provide mentoring programs between older and younger workers

This can only be achieved if HR departments have a profound shift in mindset, however, and begin to appreciate the tremendous asset older workers can be in the workforce of today.

"We need HR departments to realize that the greatest opportunity to grow their talent is not out of college, it's actually out of retirement," Chip Conley, founder of the Modern Elder Academy says. "We also need to recognize that if we treat older employers like their learning and development is done by the time they're 40, it's no surprise that we have older employees who are not as curious, so we need to learn to invest in long-term employees."

The older workforce can clearly be an asset, not least as we weather the storms facing us at the moment, but if we are to realize that asset, we will need to rethink our assumptions about older workers and actively work to break down the many stereotypes they face.

Mon, 25 Jul 2022 08:26:00 -0500 Adi Gaskell en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/adigaskell/2022/07/25/shifting-our-aging-society-from-a-burden-to-an-asset/
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