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Modernisation of data architecture is key to maximising value across the business.

Dietmar Rietsch, CEO of Pimcore, identifies best practices for organisations to consider when managing modern enterprise data architecture

Time and again, data has been touted as the lifeline that businesses need to grow and, more importantly, differentiate and lead. Data powers decisions about their business operations and helps solve problems, understand customers, evaluate performance, Improve processes, measure improvement, and much more. However, having data is just a good start. Businesses need to manage this data effectively to put it into the right context and figure out the “what, when, who, where, why and how” of a given situation to achieve a specific set of goals. Evidently, a global, on-demand enterprise survives and thrives on an efficient enterprise data architecture that serves as a source of product and service information to address specific business needs.

A highly functional product and master data architecture is vital to accelerate the time-to-market, Improve customer satisfaction, reduce costs, and acquire greater market share. It goes without saying that data architecture modernisation is the true endgame to meet today’s need for speed, flexibility, and innovation. Now living in a data swamp, enterprises must determine whether their legacy data architecture can handle the vast amount of data accumulated and address the current data processing needs. Upgrading their data architecture to Improve agility, enhance customer experience, and scale fast is the best way forward. In doing so, they must follow best practices that are critical to maximising the benefits of data architecture modernisation.

Below are the seven best practices that must be followed for enterprise data architecture modernisation.

1. Build flexible, extensible data schemas

Enterprises gain a potent competitive edge by enhancing their ability to explore data and leverage advanced analytics. To achieve this, they are shifting toward denormalised, mutable data schemas with lesser physical tables for data organisation to maximise performance. Using flexible and extensible data models instead of rigid ones allows for more rapid exploration of structured and unstructured data. It also reduces complexity as data managers do not need to insert abstraction layers, such as additional joins between highly normalised tables, to query relational data.

Data models can become extensible with the help of the data vault 2.0 technique, a prescriptive, industry-standard method of transforming raw data into intelligent, actionable insights. Also, graph databases of NoSQL tap into unstructured data and enable applications requiring massive scalability, real-time capabilities, and access to data layers in AI systems. Besides, analytics can help access stored data while standard interfaces are running. Enterprises can store data using JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), permitting database structural change without affecting the business information model.

2. Focus on domain-based architecture aligned with business needs

Data architects are moving away from clusters of centralised enterprise data lakes to domain-based architectures. Herein, data virtualisation techniques are used throughout enterprises to organise and integrate distributed data assets. The domain-driven approach has been instrumental in meeting specific business requirements to speed up the time to market for new data products and services. For each domain, the product owner and product team can maintain a searchable data catalog, along with providing consumers with documentation (definition, API endpoints, schema, and more) and other metadata. As a bounded context, the domain also empowers users with a data roadmap that covers data, integration, storage, and architectural changes.

This approach significantly reduces the time spent on building new data models in the lake, usually from months to days. Instead of creating a centralised data platform, organisations can deploy logical platforms that are managed within various departments across the organisation. For domain-centric architecture, a data infrastructure as a platform approach leverages standardised tools for the maintenance of data assets to speed up implementation.

3. Eliminate data silos across the organisations

Implications of data silos for the data-driven enterprise are diverse. Due to data silos, business operations and data analytics initiatives are hindered since it is not possible to interpret unstructured, disorganised data. Organisational silos make it difficult for businesses to manage processes and make decisions with accurate information. Removing silos allows businesses to make more informed decisions and use data more effectively. Evidently, a solid enterprise architecture must eliminate silos by conducting an audit of internal systems, culture, and goals.

A crucial part of modernising data architecture involves making internal data accessible to the people who need it when they need it. When disparate repositories hold the same data, data duplicates created make it nearly impossible to determine which data is relevant. In a modern data architecture, silos are broken down, and information is cleansed and validated to ensure that it is accurate and complete. In essence, enterprises must adopt a complete and centralised MDM and PIM to automate the management of all information across diverse channels in a single place and enable the long-term dismantling of data silos.

4. Execute real-time data processing

With the advent of real-time product recommendations, personalised offers, and multiple customer communication channels, the business world is moving away from legacy systems. For real-time data processing, modernising data architecture is a necessary component of the much-needed digital transformation. With a real-time architecture, enterprises can process and analyse data with zero or near-zero latency. As such, they can perform product analytics to track behaviour in digital products and obtain insights into feature use, UX changes, usage, and abandonment.

The deployment of such an architecture starts with the shift from a traditional model to one that is data-driven. To build a resilient and nimble data architecture model that is both future-proof and agile, data architects must integrate newer and better data technologies. Besides, streaming models, or a combination of batch and stream processing, can be deployed to solve multiple business requirements and witness availability and low latency.

5. Decouple data access points

Data today is no longer limited to structured data that can be analysed with traditional tools. As a result of big data and cloud computing, the sheer amount of structured and unstructured data holding vital information for businesses is often difficult to access for various reasons. It implies that the data architecture should be able to handle data from both structured and unstructured sources, both in a structured and an unstructured format. Unless enterprises do so, they miss out on essential information needed to make informed business decisions.

Data can be exposed through APIs so that direct access to view and modify data can be limited and protected, while enabling faster and more current access to standard data sets. Data can be reused among teams easily, accelerating access to and enabling seamless collaboration among analytics teams. By doing this, AI use cases can be developed more efficiently.

6. Consider cloud-based data platforms

Cloud computing is probably the most significant driving force behind a revolutionary new data architecture approach for scaling AI capabilities and tools quickly. The declining costs of cloud computing and the rise of in-memory data tools are allowing enterprises to leverage the most sophisticated advanced analytics. Cloud providers are revolutionising how companies of all sizes source, deploy and run data infrastructure, platforms, and applications at scale. With a cloud-based PIM or MDM, enterprises can take advantage of ready-use and configured solutions, wherein they can seamlessly upload their product data, automate catalog creation, and enrich it diverse marketing campaigns.

With a cloud PIM or MDM, enterprises can eliminate the need for hardware maintenance, application hosting, version updates, and security patches. From the cost perspective, the low cost of subscription of cloud platforms is beneficial for small businesses that can scale their customer base cost-effectively. Besides, cloud-based data platforms also bring a higher level of control over product data and security.

7. Integrate modular, best-of-breed platforms

Businesses often have to move beyond legacy data ecosystems offered by prominent solution vendors to scale applications. Many organisations are moving toward modular data architectures that use the best-of-breed and, frequently, open source components that can be swapped for new technologies as needed without affecting the other parts of the architecture. An enterprise using this method can rapidly deliver new, data-heavy digital services to millions of customers and connect to cloud-based applications at scale. Organisations can also set up an independent data layer that includes commercial databases and open source components.

Data is synchronised with the back-end systems through an enterprise service bus, and business logic is handled by microservices that reside in containers. Aside from simplifying integration between disparate tools and platforms, API-based interfaces decrease the risk of introducing new problems into existing applications and speed time to market. They also make the replacement of individual components easier.

Data architecture modernisation = increased business value

Modernising data architecture allows businesses to realise the full value of their unique data assets, create insights faster through AI-based data engineering, and even unlock the value of legacy data. A modern data architecture permits an organisation’s data to become scalable, accessible, manageable, and analysable with the help of cloud-based services. Furthermore, it ensures compliance with data security and privacy guidelines while enabling data access across the enterprise. Using a modern data approach, organisations can deliver better customer experiences, drive top-line growth, reduce costs, and gain a competitive advantage.

Written by Dietmar Rietsch, CEO of Pimcore

Related:

How to get ahead of the National Data Strategy to drive business value — Toby Balfre, vice-president, field engineering EMEA at Databricks, discusses how organisations can get ahead of the National Data Strategy to drive business value.

A guide to IT governance, risk and compliance — Information Age presents your complete business guide to IT governance, risk and compliance.

Thu, 28 Jul 2022 12:00:00 -0500 Editor's Choice en text/html https://www.information-age.com/best-practices-for-modern-enterprise-data-architecture-123499796/
Killexams : HP Victus 15 review: As cheap as gaming laptops come

HP Victus 15

MSRP $850.00

“The HP Victus 15 provides modest performance, but ceratin configurations make it worthwhile.”

Pros

  • Solid productivity performance
  • Decent 1080p gaming performance
  • Good keyboard and touchpad
  • Conservative good looks
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Confusing configurations
  • Poor battery life
  • Ho-hum screen

Gaming laptops tend to be expensive, and the chip shortage has only made that situation worse in exact years. HP’s new Victus 15 slides in with options well under $1,000 that attempt to provide a fix to that problem.

While the larger Victus 16 gets you up to an RTX 3060, the Victus 15 tops out at an RTX 3050 Ti — and starts at a budget-tier GTX 1650, which is what my review unit included. Despite having the latest 12th-gen CPUs, we don’t normally recommend gaming laptops with graphics that are quite that bottom of the barrel. While our unit lacked in performance, there are some configurations in the lineup that could make the Victus 15 a solid purchase — especially considering the alternatives.

 Design

HP Victus 15 front angled view showing display and keyboard deck.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Like the Victus 16, the Victus 15 has a design that carries over a few elements from HP’s Omen lineup but maintains a more conservative aesthetic. The Victus logo shares the Omen logo’s basic geometry, cutting off and retaining the bottom portion. The logo shows up on the lid and in the venting above the keyboard. Otherwise, the Victus 15 has simple lines and few gamer-oriented elements. The rear vent has a bit of a fighter jet look, but from the front and sides, you wouldn’t be blamed for mistaking the Victus 15 for a mainstream budget laptop. That perception extends to the thin side bezels and reasonably small top bezel that contrast with the massive chin at the bottom of the display.

There are three available colors, Mica Silver (dark gray), Performance Blue, and Ceramic White. The Victus 15 doesn’t look exactly like a smaller version of the Victus 16 — the rear edges are more rounded, giving a sleeker look. It’s not unusual for gaming laptops to strike a more mainstream look. Other examples include the Razer Blade 15 and the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. If you want a laptop that looks like a gaming machine, you’ll want to consider something like the Asus ROG Strix G15 that’s a gamer through and through.

HP didn’t set out to make a thin and light gaming laptop, but it didn’t make the thickest or heaviest either.

The Victus 15 is made of all plastic, just like the Victus 16. Also like that laptop, it has a lid that’s quite bendable. The keyboard deck also comes with a bit of flex, although the smaller model is a bit more solid. The hinge works well, allowing the lid to be opened with one hand and avoiding any serious wobble during intense gaming action. Overall, the Victus 15 is slightly improved over the Victus 16, but it falls well short of more expensive machines like the Lenovo Legion 5i Pro and the Razer Blade 15.

Even given the large chin on the bottom of the display, the Victus 15 is sized like the typical 15-inch gaming laptop. It’s fractions of an inch narrower and shallower than the Lenovo Legion 5, for example, and just as thick at 0.93 inches. The HP is slightly lighter at 5.06 pounds compared to 5.3 pounds. The Acer Nitro 5, a similarly priced gaming machine, is about the same size, but thicker at 0.94 inches and lighter at 4.85 pounds. HP didn’t aim to make a thin and light laptop, but it didn’t make the thickest or heaviest either.

Connectivity is robust, with one exception. There’s a USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 port, two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, a full-size HDMI 2.1 port, an Ethernet connection, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a full-size SD card reader. The one glaring omission is Thunderbolt 4, which we’ve seen on laptops at this price point. Wireless connectivity is either Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 or Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, depending on the configuration.

Price and configurations

Affordable gaming laptops are tough to come by these days, especially ones that are actually worth buying. As with all cheap laptops, though, digging into the configurations is key — and unfortunately, HP has created a confusing lineup with the Victus 15, offering preconfigured models via retailers that utilize different Intel CPUs than you can buy via HP’s configure-to-order (CTO) system.

The preconfigured models range from a $600 (on sale from $880) configuration with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and an Nvidia GTX 1650. My review unit was similar, though it cost $800 and includes a Core i5-12450H and a 144Hz Full HD display. At the high end is the $1,000 (on sale from $1,100) model with a Core i7-12650H, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and the Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti. Other options include the AMD Ryzen 7 5800H and the RTX 3050. These higher-end options will deliver you far better performance.

You can configure the Victus 15 at HP.com, which lets you spec out your laptop in finer detail, ranging from $870 on the low end to $1,230 on the high end. There are two primary competitors that price out closely to the Victus 15: The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 and the Acer Nitro 5. The Nitro 5 is $50 more expensive when configured similarly, while the IdeaPad Gaming 3 comes with the latest Ryzen processor for $900.

Performance

HP Victus 15 rear view showing lid and logo.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The most important distinction is that the Core i5-12450H is a 45-watt, 10-core (four Performance and six Efficient), and 12-thread CPU, compared to the 45-watt, 12-core (four Performance and eight Efficient), 16-thread i5-12500H. The Core i7-12650H is a 45-watt, 10-core (six Performance and four Efficient), 16-thread CPU, compared to the Core i7-12700H, a 45-watt, 14-core (six Performance and eight Efficient), 20-thread CPU. We’ve only benchmarked the Core i7-12700H, but looking at the Geekbench 5 database, the Core i5-12450H and Core i7-12650H are (as expected) slower than their higher-core and higher-thread counterparts.

We haven’t tested a 28-watt P-series Core i5, but again, looking at the Geekbench 5 database, it seems to be faster than the Core i5-12450H in my review unit. It’s worth noting that the Victus 15 couldn’t quite keep up with laptops running the 28-watt Core i7-1260P with its 12 cores (four Performance and eight Efficient) and 16 threads, of which we’ve reviewed quite a few. The AMD Ryzen 7 5800H is also faster than the Core i5 in my review unit.

Accordingly, the Victus 15’s productivity and creativity performances were mixed. It had the second-slowest Geekbench 5 results in our comparison group, well behind the Core i7-1260P in the MSI Prestige 14 and the core i7-11800H in the HP Victus 16. The same held with our Handbrake test that encodes a 420MB video as H.265, although the differences weren’t as significant. At the same time, the Victus 15 was more competitive in the Cinebench R23 benchmark, producing the third-fastest single-core score and beating the MSI Prestige 14. The Victus 15 was again behind most of the pack in the PCMark 10 Complete test that runs through a range of productivity, multimedia, and creative tasks.

The Victus 15 can handle demanding productivity workflows and some low-end creative tasks.

Finally, in the Pugetbench Premiere Pro benchmark that runs in a live version of Adobe’s Premiere Pro, the Victus 15 again fell behind the MSI Prestige 14. That laptop was configured with the RTX 3050, a faster GPU than the GTX 1650 in the Victus 15, and the Pugetbench benchmark is heavily influenced by GPU performance. However, it wasn’t GPU performance that held the HP back. In fact, the Victus 15 tied the Prestige 14 in the GPU section of the benchmark, and it was in the CPU-dependent video playback section that the HP was much slower.

Overall, mainstream performance was still solid for an $800 laptop. The Victus 15 can handle demanding productivity workflows and some low-end creative tasks. But you’ll see faster results by ordering via the CTO system. Interestingly, the Omen Gaming Hub app has a performance tuning section, but the GTX 1650 version of the Victus 15 doesn’t have a performance setting, which is disappointing.

Geekbench (single/multi) Handbrake
(seconds)
Cinebench R23 (single/multi) Pugetbench for Premiere Pro PCMark 10 Complete
HP Victus 15
(Core i5-12450H)
1,450 / 6,699 118 1,670 / 9,521 441 6,059
HP Victus 16
(Core i7-11800H)
1,594 / 9,141 93 1,510 / 10,145 N/A 6,808
MSI Prestige 14
(Core i7-1260P)
1,505 / 10,041 114 1,553 / 8,734 553 6,201
Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey
(Core i7-11600H)
1,478 / 5,366 152 1,501 / 8,571 N/A 5,989
Lenovo Legion 5i Pro 
(Core i7-12700H)
1,625 / 11,543 72 1,725 / 14,135 793 7,430
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
(Ryzen 7 5800H)
1,460/7,227 99 1,430/11,195 N/A n/a

Gaming

HP Victus 15 rear view showing vent.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Gaming performance was mostly in line with expectations given the GTX 1650 GPU. These are the lowest-end graphics cards you can find in a gaming laptop, so your expectations should be low when firing this up. First, the Victus 15 had the lowest 3DMark Time Spy test in our comparison group, as expected. It was considerably lower than the MSI Prestige 14’s RTX 3050, also as expected.

The Victus 15 performed OK in most of our benchmarks at 1080p and higher graphics settings. It managed playable frame rates in Civilization VI and Fortnite, but just barely in the latter case. You’ll need to drop down to a lower setting to play Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. The results aren’t listed in the table below, but the Victus 15 managed to hit 45 frames per second (fps) in Cyberpunk 2077 at 1080p and Ultra graphics with DLSS turned off.

Overall, the laptop averaged greater than 30 fps in most of our benchmark titles. Of course, that’s the bare minimum fps for gaming, so you’ll want to configure the RTX 3050 Ti to get more comfortable frame rates at higher graphics.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (1080p Ultra High) Civilization VI (1080p Ultra) Fortnite (1080p Epic) 3DMark Time Spy
HP Victus 15
(GTX 1650)
25 fps 60 39 3,653
HP Victus 16
(RTX 3060)
59 fps 118 99 7,341
MSI Prestige 14
(RTX 3050)
20 fps N/A 26 4,438
Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey
(RTX 3050 Ti)
15 fps 61 54 N/A
Lenovo Legion 5i Pro 
(RTX 3070 Ti)
80 fps 177 fps 103 fps 1,0623
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
(RTX 3070)
61 fps 114 fps 101 fps 9,175

Display and audio

HP Victus 15 front view showing display.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

There are three display options for the Victus 15, all non-touch 16:9 Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS. They include a 250-nit 60Hz panel, a 250-nit 144Hz panel, and a 300-nit low blue light panel. My review unit was equipped with the 144Hz display, and it seemed OK to me when I powered on the laptop and used it during my testing. The colors were muted, but the contrast seemed deep enough, and the display didn’t get terribly bright.

That’s pretty much what my colorimeter confirmed. Brightness was indeed low at 236 nits, below our 300-nit threshold, while the contrast was good at 1,150:1, above our preferred 1,000:1. Colors weren’t very wide at just 65% of sRGB and 49% of AdobeRGB, and accuracy wasn’t great at a Delta-E of 3.04 (2.0 or less is considered the minimum for creative work). The Victus 16’s display was brighter and had wider and more accurate colors, and only the Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey‘s display was worse.

These results aren’t terrible for a laptop that’s $800 or less, but they become less palatable as you approach $1,000. The display is fine for productivity work and gaming, primarily thanks to the high contrast, but creators will find it lacking.

Brightness
(nits)
Contrast sRGB gamut AdobeRGB gamut Accuracy DeltaE
(lower is better)
HP Victus 15
(IPS)
236 1,150:1 65% 49% 3.04
HP Victus 16
(IPS)
375 1,120:1 100% 79% 1.86
MSI Prestige 14
(IPS)
317 1,820:1 97% 72% 3.67
Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey
(IPS)
350 800:1 65% 48% 2.37
Lenovo Legion 5i Pro
(IPS)
502 1,330:1 99% 76% 1.35

Two downward-firing speakers provide the audio, putting out plenty of volume with just a hint of distortion at the top end. Mids and clears were high, but there was zero bass, meaning you’ll want to wear some headphones for intense gaming and binging sessions.

Keyboard, touchpad, and webcam

HP Victus 15 top down view showing keyboard and touchpad.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

There’s no per-key RGB lighting with the Victus 15, as HP is apparently reserving that for its Omen gaming lineup. Instead, there’s just a single, rather bright backlight setting. There’s plenty of spacing, and the keys with their gamer-oriented font are large enough. I found the switches to be ligh, with a nice click at the bottom, which should work nicely for gamers even if it’s not a mechanical keyboard. Overall, the keyboard felt much like the one on the Victus 16, which shouldn’t be a surprise.

The touchpad was large and had a surface that offered a touch of resistance. It was responsive and reliable for Windows 11’s complement of multi-touch gestures, and the clicks were solid and confident without being too loud.

The webcam is a 720p version, and it performed about as well as the typical laptop webcam. That is, it was OK with good lighting but lost details in low light.

The Victus 15 doesn’t support Windows 11 Hello passwordless login. There are no fingerprint reader or infrared camera options, which is disappointing.

Battery life

HP Victus 15 edge view showing HP stamp.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

My review unit packed in just 52.5 watt-hours of battery, which isn’t a lot for a 15-inch laptop with a discrete GPU. If you order a higher-end model via HP’s CTO system, you can get a 70 watt-hour battery. I wasn’t expecting much in the way of battery life.

Unsurprisingly, the Victus 15 didn’t do well. It managed just 4.25 hours in our web-browsing test that cycles through a series of popular and demanding websites, and it only managed five hours in our video test that loops a local Full HD Avengers trailer. In the PCMark 10 Applications test that’s the best measure of productivity battery life, it couldn’t quite make it to five hours. The average laptop in our database at least doubles those results.

The Victus 15 performed similarly to most of the gaming laptops in our comparison group. Only the Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey and the Razer Blade 14 with its AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX had meaningfully longer battery life.

Web browsing Video PCMark 10 Applications
HP Victus 15
(Core i5-12450H)
4 hours, 18 minutes 5 hours, 7 minutes 4 hours, 50 minutes
HP Victus 16
(Core i7-11800H)
4 hours, 25 minutes 6 hours, 25 minutes 5 hours, 7 minutes
MSI Prestige 14
(Core i7-1260P)
5 hours, 11 minutes 6 hours, 2 minutes 7 hours, 2 minutes
Samsung Galaxy Book Odyssey
(Core i7-11600H)
10 hours, 30 minutes 14 hours, 19 minutes 11 hours, 47 minutes
Lenovo Legion 5i Pro 
(Core i7-12700H)
4 hours 32 minutes 7 hours 9 minutes N/A
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
(Ryzen 7 5800H)
7 hours 10 minutes N/A N/A
Razer Blade 14
(Ryzen 9 5900HX)
8 hours 17 minutes 11 hours 7 minutes N/A

Our take

Rating the HP Victus 15 is challenging given its wide range of configurations. The $600 configuration (on sale from $870) with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H and a GTX 1650 provides a lot of value and will likely provide similar performance to my review unit. Speaking of that, the configuration I reviewed justifies its $800 price, but barely.

In the end, the Victus 15 performed well enough and is built solidly enough to make it a solid new entry in the budget gaming arena. You’ll just want to compare the available options before making your choice.

Are there any alternatives?

The best alternative to the Victus 15 is the Victus 16. It’s a little larger, but it can also be configured with a much faster GPU, and its display is slightly better. For just $100 more, you can get a configuration with an AMD Ryzen 5 6600H and RTX 3050 that’s probably faster than my review unit.

There aren’t many other gaming laptops under $1,000 that have made the switch to Intel 12th-gen CPUs. One that has is the Acer Nitro 5, which has a more aggressive gaming design and similar configuration for a couple of hundred dollars more.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 is another alternative, offering a similarly conservative design and similar components for just a bit more money than the Victus 15. You’ll want to look for the latest AMD Ryzen 6000 models.

How long will it last?

Despite a little bending in the lid and flexing in the keyboard deck, the Victus 15 is a well-built budget gaming machine. It should still last for years of hard gaming. The industry-standard one-year warranty remains as disappointing as ever.

Should you buy it?

Yes. The Victus 15 is a good value as long as you make your selection carefully from among HP’s confusing purchasing options.

Editors' Recommendations

Fri, 08 Jul 2022 17:30:00 -0500 Mark Coppock en text/html https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/hp-victus-15-review/
Killexams : The Market Is Teeming: Bargains on Dark Web deliver Novice Cybercriminals a Quick Start

Would-be cybercriminals can easily buy advanced tools, common exploits, and stolen credentials on underground markets for a few dollars — a low barrier to entry for novices, according to a study of 33,000 Dark Web marketplaces.

According to new analysis from HP Wolf Security and researchers at Forensic Pathways, there are plenty of bargains to be had. Out of the 174 exploits found advertised on the Dark Web, 91% cost less than $10, while 76% of the more than 1,650 advertisements for malware have a similar price.

Other common attacker assets also have similarly low prices: The average cost, for example, for stolen credentials for accessing a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) instance is just $5.

While more advanced malware groups use private forums to trade zero-day exploits, the available credentials, exploits, and tools on offer in the wider underground economy allow novices to quickly create a credible toolset, says Alex Holland, senior malware analyst at HP and primary author of the report.

Novice cybercriminals "can use a freely available open source tool, and — as long as you are skilled enough to encrypt, use a packer, use techniques to evade defenses — then that tool will do a perfectly good job," he says.

Dark Web pricing from HP report.
The vast majority of exploits and malware are sold on the Dark Web for less than $10. Source: HP's The Evolution of Cybercrime report.

The study of Dark Web marketplaces analyzed approximately 33,000 active sites, forums, and marketplaces over a two-month period, finding that the market for basic tools and knowledge is well entrenched, and attracting new customers all the time.

The increase in the number of threat actors could mean businesses will find their operations targeted even more than they are today, according to Michael Calce, HP Security Advisory Board member and former hacker (aka MafiaBoy). HP brought in criminologists and former hackers to help put the study in context.

"Today, only a small minority of cybercriminals really code, most are just in it for the money — and the barrier to entry is so low that almost anyone can be a threat actor," Calce says in the report. "That's bad news for businesses."

To protect themselves from the swelling ranks of cyberattackers, HP recommends that companies do the basics, using automation and best practices to reduce their attack surface area. In addition, businesses need to regularly conduct exercises to help plan for and respond to the worst-case attacks, as attackers will increasingly attempt to limit executives choices following an attack to make ransom payments the best worst option.

"If the worst happens and a threat actor breaches your defenses, then you don't want this to be the first time you have initiated an incident response plan," Joanna Burkey, chief information security officer at HP, says in the report. "Ensuring that everyone knows their roles, and that people are familiar with the processes they need to follow, will go a long way to containing the worst of the impact."

Cybercrime Convergence: Nation-State Tactics Blend With Financial Campaigns

The report also found that advanced actors are becoming more professional, using increasingly destructive attacks to scale up the pressure on victims to pay. At the same time, financially motivated cybercriminals groups continue to adopt many of the tactics used by high-end nation-state threat actors.

These especially focus on living-off-the-land attacks where the attacker uses system administration tools to avoid endpoint-detection systems that would otherwise flag malware, according to HP.

While the shift likely comes from the transfer of knowledge as cybercriminals become more skillful and learn the latest tactics used by advanced persistent threats, a number of groups are also blending nation-state activities—such as cyberespionage — and cybercriminal activities aimed at turning a profit. The leak of text messages from the Conti group highlighted that the members occasionally conducted operations at the request of at least two Russian government agencies.

Ransomware Is Here to Stay

Elsewhere in the report, researchers note that ransomware gangs will focus on timing their attacks to put the most pressure on organizations, such as attacking retailers during the holiday seasons, the agriculture sector during harvest seasons, or universities as students return to school. 

Ransomware has declined in the first half of the year for various reasons, but HP sees the trend as temporary.

"We don't see ransomware going away, but we do see it evolving over time," Holland says. "Ransomware attacks will actually become more creative."

Enforcing Ethics on the Dark Web

The study also found that trust continues to be a major problem for Dark Web markets in the same way that online businesses have had to deal with fraud and bad actors. The Dark Web, of course, has facets that make trust even harder to come by: A website on the anonymous Tor network, for example, has an average lifespan of 55 days, according to the researchers.

To ensure that vendors and customers play fair, the marketplaces have adopted many of the same strategies as legitimate businesses. Vendors are usually required to offer a bond of thousands of dollars to ensure trust. Customers can leave ratings on every marketplace. And escrow payments have become commonplace, with 85% of transactions using escrow payment systems.

Sun, 24 Jul 2022 13:03:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.darkreading.com/threat-intelligence/market-bargains-dark-web-novice-cybercriminals-quick-start Killexams : Stolen Credentials Selling on the Dark Web for Price of a Gallon of Gas

HP Inc.

New HP Wolf Security report exposes ironic “honor among thieves” as cybercriminals rely on dispute resolution services, $3k vendor bonds and escrow payments to ensure “fair” dealings

PALO ALTO, Calif. , July 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) today released The Evolution of Cybercrime: Why the Dark Web is Supercharging the Threat Landscape and How to Fight Back – an HP Wolf Security Report. The findings show cybercrime is being supercharged through “plug and play” malware kits that make it easier than ever to launch attacks. Cyber syndicates are collaborating with amateur attackers to target businesses, putting our online world at risk.

The HP Wolf Security threat team worked with Forensic Pathways, a leading group of global forensic professionals, on a three-month dark web investigation, scraping and analyzing over 35 million cybercriminal marketplaces and forum posts to understand how cybercriminals operate, gain trust, and build reputation.

Key findings include:

  • Malware is cheap and readily available – Over three quarters (76%) of malware advertisements listed, and 91% of exploits (i.e. code that gives attackers control over systems by taking advantage of software bugs), retail for under $10 USD. The average cost of compromised Remote Desktop Protocol credentials is just $5 USD. Vendors are selling products in bundles, with plug-and-play malware kits, malware-as-a-service, tutorials, and mentoring services reducing the need for technical skills and experience to conduct complex, targeted attacks – in fact, just 2-3% of threat actors today are advanced coders1.

  • The irony of ‘honor amongst cyber-thieves’ – Much like the legitimate online retail world, trust and reputation are ironically essential parts of cybercriminal commerce: 77% of cybercriminal marketplaces analyzed require a vendor bond – a license to sell – which can cost up to $3,000. 85% of these use escrow payments, and 92% have a third-party dispute resolution service. Every marketplace provides vendor feedback scores. Cybercriminals also try to stay a step ahead of law enforcement by transferring reputation between websites – as the average lifespan of a dark net Tor website is only 55 days.

  • Popular software is giving cybercriminals a foot in the door – Cybercriminals are focusing on finding gaps in software that will allow them to get a foothold and take control of systems by targeting known bugs and vulnerabilities in popular software. Examples include the Windows operating system, Microsoft Office, web content management systems, and web and mail servers. Kits that exploit vulnerabilities in niche systems command the highest prices (typically ranging from $1,000-$4,000 USD). Zero Days (vulnerabilities that are not yet publicly known) are retailing at 10s of thousands of dollars on dark web markets.

“Unfortunately, it’s never been easier to be a cybercriminal. Complex attacks previously required serious skills, knowledge and resource. Now the technology and training is available for the price of a gallons of gas. And whether it’s having your company ad customer data exposed, deliveries delayed or even a hospital appointment cancelled, the explosion in cybercrime affects us all,” comments report author Alex Holland, Senior Malware Analyst at HP Inc.

“At the heart of this is ransomware, which has created a new cybercriminal ecosystem rewarding smaller players with a slice of the profits. This is creating a cybercrime factory line, churning out attacks that can be very hard to defend against and putting the businesses we all rely on in the crosshairs,” Holland adds.

HP consulted with a panel of experts from cybersecurity and academia – including ex-black hat hacker Michael ‘Mafia Boy’ Calce and authored criminologist, Dr. Mike McGuire – to understand how cybercrime has evolved and what businesses can do to better protect themselves against the threats of today and tomorrow. They warned that businesses should prepare for destructive data denial attacks, increasingly targeted cyber campaigns, and cybercriminals using emerging technologies like artificial intelligence to challenge organizations’ data integrity.

To protect against current and future threats, the report offers up the following advice for businesses:

Master the basics to reduce cybercriminals’ chances: Follow best practices, such as multi-factor authentication and patch management; reduce your attack surface from top attack vectors like email, web browsing and file downloads; and prioritize self-healing hardware to boost resilience.

Focus on winning the game: plan for the worst; limit risk posed by your people and partners by putting processes in place to vet supplier security and educate workforces on social engineering; and be process-oriented and rehearse responses to attacks so you can identify problems, make improvements and be better prepared.

Cybercrime is a team sport. Cybersecurity must be too: talk to your peers to share threat information and intelligence in real-time; use threat intelligence and be proactive in horizon scanning by monitoring open discussions on underground forums; and work with third-party security services to uncover weak spots and critical risks that need addressing.

“We all need to do more to fight the growing cybercrime machine,” says Dr. Ian Pratt, Global Head of Security for Personal Systems at HP Inc. “For individuals, this means becoming cyber aware. Most attacks start with a click of a mouse, so thinking before you click is always important. But giving yourself a safety net by buying technology that can mitigate and recover from the impact of bad clicks is even better.”

“For businesses, it’s important to build resiliency and shut off as many common attack routes as possible,” Pratt continues. “For example, cybercriminals study patches on release to reverse engineer the vulnerability being patched and can rapidly create exploits to use before organizations have patched. So, speeding up patch management is important. Many of the most common categories of threat such as those delivered via email and the web can be fully neutralized through techniques such as threat containment and isolation, greatly reducing an organization’s attack surface regardless of whether the vulnerabilities are patched or not.”

You can read the full report here https://threatresearch.ext.hp.com/evolution-of-cybercrime-report/

Media contacts:
Vanessa Godsal / vgodsal@hp.com

About the research

The Evolution of Cybercrime – The Evolution of Cybercrime: Why the Dark Web is Supercharging the Threat Landscape and How to Fight Back – an HP Wolf Security Report is based on findings from:

  1. An independent study carried out by dark web investigation firm Forensic Pathways and commissioned by HP Wolf Security. The firm collected dark web marketplace listings using their automated crawlers that monitor content on the Tor network. Their Dark Search Engine tool has an index consisting of >35 million URLs of scraped data. The collected data was examined and validated by Forensic Pathway’s analysts. This report analyzed approximately 33,000 active websites across the dark web, including 5,502 forums and 6,529 marketplaces. Between February and April 2022, Forensic Pathways identified 17 recently active cybercrime marketplaces across the Tor network and 16 hacking forums across the Tor network and the web containing relevant listings that comprise the data set.

  2. The report also includes threat telemetry from HP Wolf Security and research into the leaked communications of the Conti ransomware group.

  3. Interviews with and contributions from a panel of cybersecurity experts including:

    • Alex Holland, report author, Senior Malware Analyst at HP Inc.

    • Joanna Burkey, Chief Information Security Officer at HP Inc.

    • Dr. Ian Pratt, Global Head of Security for Personal Systems at HP Inc.

    • Boris Balacheff, Chief Technologist for Security Research and Innovation at HP Labs, HP Inc.

    • Patrick Schlapfer, Malware Analyst at HP Inc.

    • Michael Calce, former black hat “MafiaBoy”, HP Security Advisory Board Chairman, CEO of decentraweb, and President of Optimal Secure.

    • Dr. Mike McGuire, senior lecturer of criminology at the University of Surrey, UK and authored expert on cybersecurity.

    • Robert Masse, HP Security Advisory Board member and Partner at Deloitte.

    • Justine Bone, HP Security Advisory Board member and CEO at Medsec.

About HP

HP Inc. is a technology company that believes one thoughtful idea has the power to change the world. Its product and service portfolio of personal systems, printers, and 3D printing solutions helps bring these ideas to life. Visit http://www.hp.com.

About HP Wolf Security

From the maker of the world’s most secure PCs2 and Printers3, HP Wolf Security is a new breed of endpoint security. HP’s portfolio of hardware-enforced security and endpoint-focused security services are designed to help organizations safeguard PCs, printers, and people from circling cyber predators. HP Wolf Security provides comprehensive endpoint protection and resiliency that starts at the hardware level and extends across software and services.

©Copyright 2022 HP Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

1 According to Michael Calce, former black hat “MafiaBoy”, HP Security Advisory Board Member, CEO of decentraweb, and President of Optimal Secure
2 Based on HP’s unique and comprehensive security capabilities at no additional cost among vendors on HP Elite PCs with Windows and 8th Gen and higher Intel® processors or AMD Ryzen™ 4000 processors and higher; HP ProDesk 600 G6 with Intel® 10th Gen and higher processors; and HP ProBook 600 with AMD Ryzen™ 4000 or Intel® 11th Gen processors and higher.
3 HP’s most advanced embedded security features are available on HP Enterprise and HP Managed devices with HP FutureSmart firmware 4.5 or above. Claim based on HP review of 2021 published features of competitive in-class printers. Only HP offers a combination of security features to automatically detect, stop, and recover from attacks with a self-healing reboot, in alignment with NIST SP 800-193 guidelines for device cyber resiliency. For a list of compatible products, visit: hp.com/go/PrintersThatProtect. For more information, visit: hp.com/go/PrinterSecurityClaims.

Thu, 21 Jul 2022 04:34:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://finance.yahoo.com/news/stolen-credentials-selling-dark-price-163000009.html
Killexams : In-depth: Why do brands come up with digital-centric sales and discounts during occasions?

The pandemic has changed the way brands approach their target consumer, be it through their retail stores, websites or e-commerce portals. An array of tactical promotional techniques like the ‘Big Billion Sale’, ‘End Of Season Sale’, ‘Buy One Get One’, amongst many other discounts and sale offers are included by brands in their marketing mix.

While the objective of each campaign differs, what remains a constant is the brand building process, which at times is clubbed with customer acquisition, driving traffic to website, boosting online purchases and adding a recall factor to the indulgent brand experience for the consumers.

Nisha Sampath

According to Nisha Sampath, Brand Consultant and Managing Partner at Bright Angles Consulting, “Indians, especially the middle-class families, have always been more focused on the touch-and-feel approach and the indulgent experience of going out when it comes to purchasing products. But with the pandemic things have changed massively and the product purchases have shifted to online mediums.”

Upon being questioned about from where the concept of giving discounts and sale offers on digital platforms finds its roots in the post-pandemic world, Sampath stated, “One of the major troubles that comes with online purchases is that it is very transactional and it’s very hard to deliver an experiential dimension to it in terms of the touch-and-feel of the product and then add it to the shopping cart. Also, when consumers buy products online, there is always a doubt-factor and when brands roll out such discounts and sales as a promotional tactic, they tend to entice the consumer for online purchases and overcome the barrier.”

As per Sampath, there are mainly two reasons as to why brands take the discount and sale route for occasion or festive-centric promotions. “One of the reasons is that brands are eyeing a larger chunk of product sales during the festive season, since consumers tend to spend a big from their wallets. The other reason for this is that brands don’t tend to spend during the slump season, so to address their consumers and to gain a side benefit of customer acquisition, adding consumers to their database and to enrol consumers in their loyalty programs, brands roll out such promotional schemes,” she said.

Antara Kundu

According to Antara Kundu, General Manager- Brand Relation, Marketing and Customer Acquisition, The Body Shop, “Digital marketing has led to a push-and-pull on two ends. On one hand, the reality is there is no escaping the fact that the cost of consumer acquisition has escalated manifold owing to the platform algorithms and the way ads are served to audiences. The other is that discounting and promotions have to be used tactically, because if we deliver our products at discounted price all the time, then it doesn’t really have any value for the consumer.”

Kundu went on to add, “When it comes to discounting, it is mainly about ensuring that how do we as a brand retain our share in the baskets of our consumers. But ultimately it is a bet on picking the marketing mix, be it in terms of investing in the right content or on the right influencer, knowing that the cost of consumer acquisition is on the rise. It is about balancing both the marketing cost and the profitability of the campaign, based on our business objective of the month.”

Commenting on why The Body Shop rolled out a promotional offer on even the newly launched Edelweiss products, Antara Kundu said, “Generally we don’t offer discounts on new products and ranges. But right now, you see the ‘Buy 4 Get 20% Off’ offer because Raksha Bandhan is around the corner and since we are a big gifting destination, it becomes a driving factor for us to not only focus on our products and gifting combinations but on our pricing as well.”

“But the sale offer is not just specific to our Edelweiss range and is a tactical promotional scheme which is a store-wide value driver for transactions that helps us in riding on the bandwagon of consumers stocking up on certain essential products,” she clarified.

Kundu also asserted that when it comes to discounting, the call is always on incremental sales versus the revenue loss. Furthermore, she also said, “There is a significant uptick of at least 20% when the discounts and sale are run across our platforms because we only have two sales a year, so we plan to offer real value to customers at that point of time.”

Lloyd Mathias

As per Lloyd Mathias, Business Strategist and a former Marketing Head at HP Asia, Motorola and PepsiCo, “Over the course of the pandemic, the digital marketing spends for several brands have overshot traditional mediums because they are sharper and better measured with the boom in performance marketing. Many brands want to measure impact by sales attribution and therefore the discount coupons and special offers are gaining traction.”

“Marketers and brands are desparate to drive effectiveness and the biggest measure of effectiveness is closing a sale. Discounts and sales are best used tactically to drive volumes in a low seasonality period and need to be used judiciously, sporadically and not routinely, as consumers will stop buying the product without the offer over time, which will reduce the operating margins of the brands,” said Mathias.

Mathias also added that brands sometimes use strategically planned tactical promotions to drive trials and to gain disproportionate market share and faster growth.

Chandana Agarwal

Striking a similar note on how digital marketing has led brands to stronger avenues where they can afford to lose out some of the revenue when they roll out discounts, Chandana Agarwal, President- North, 82point5 Communications stated, “Today, most marketers realise that they need to have strong brand equity to be able to make a business impact through offering sales or discounts. As a result, the digital marketing trends have changed in the last couple of years and have expanded further from lead generation.”

“Occasion-specific sales offer is not a western concept and India has been doing this for the longest time in the non-digital environment, be it a sale on jewellery on Akshaya Tritiya or discounts on vehicle purchase on Dhanteras. But, in the digital segment, these sales and discounts tend to defer the consumer from purchasing the products while they are new and wait for purchasing the product during the sales period as they bring out the deal grabber in all consumers,” added Agarwal.

Agarwal also went ahead to clarify the air around brands and their sales promotion techniques when she said, “The entire concept of sales promotion is a bottom of the funnel conversation as the reach and conversions would be very high, since people come to the brands with an intention of purchasing their products. That in no way can be taken as a surrogate for brand affinity.”

Prashant Challapalli

According to Prashant Challapalli, Founder and CEO, Gravity Integrated, “In India, sales were primarily FMCG-led before Fashion Retail came of age. Even if you consider coupons online, they are mostly given by funded start-ups to get consumers. Consumers consequently don’t have loyalty today and keep flipping between brands based on the coupons.”

Speaking on why do brands come up with discounts and sales promotions, Challapalli pointed out, “Occasion-specific sales are mostly a fashion retail concept. First Shoppers Stop had started it, but the one thing that probably everyone looks forward to is ‘Super Saturday’ by Jack & Jones, Vero Moda and Only, which was a tremendous ‘70% off’. Effectively, what a sale like this does is that it helps the brand off-load old stock, but with the power of social media, it also creates a huge sense of FOMO along with the creation of a massive engagement for the brand.”

Replying to a question on when does any brand come up with discounts and price-slashes on certain occasions, Challapalli said that it all depends on the brand equity. “In the premium segment as well, there are many well-heeled people who wait for ‘The Collective’ to go on sale. These are very well to do, well-travelled consumers but they find it cheaper and more convenient to wait for the sale than to shop at the maximum retail price when they go abroad,” he added.

Umashan Naidoo

As per Umashan Naidoo, Head- Customer and Beauty, Trent, “Our promise to the consumers is ‘first price, right price’. We have a no questions asked return policy across all platforms. We launch a new product every week and offer two big seasonal sales in a year with an anticipation of liquidating and clearing products from the old to make way for the new products. However, as fashion retailers we also have new collections, not only to inspire customers but to drive sales and ensure a larger footfall.”

Info@BestMediaInfo.com

Fri, 05 Aug 2022 16:28:00 -0500 text/html https://bestmediainfo.com/2022/08/why-do-brands-come-up-with-digitalcentric-sales-and-discounts-during-occasions
Killexams : Buy ‘plug-n-play’ malware for the price of a pint of beer

A wide variety of malwares and vulnerability exploits can be bought with ease on underground marketplaces for about $10 (£8.40) on average, according to new statistics – only a few pennies more than the cost of London’s most expensive pint of beer.

The average price of a pint of beer has risen by 70% since the 2008 financial crisis and earlier this year, researchers at customer experience consultancy CGA found one pub in London charging £8.06. The researchers, perhaps sensibly, did not name the establishment in question.

But according to a new report, The evolution of cybercrime: why the dark web is supercharging the threat landscape and how to fight back, produced by HP’s endpoint security unit HP Wolf Security, the price of cyber criminality is tumbling, with 76% of malware advertisements, and 91% of exploits, found to retail for under $10.

Meanwhile, the average cost of an organisation’s compromised remote desktop protocol (RDP) credentials clocked in at just $5 (£4.20) – a far more appealing price for a beer as well, especially in London.

Vulnerabilities in niche systems, predictably, went for higher prices, and zero-days, vulnerabilities yet to be publicly disclosed, still fetch tens of thousands of pounds.

HP Wolf’s threat team got together with forensic specialists Forensic Pathways and spent three months scraping and analysing 35 million posts on dark web marketplaces and forums to understand how cyber criminals operate, gain each other’s trust, and build their reputations.

And unfortunately, said HP senior malware analyst and report author Alex Holland, it has never been easier or cheaper to get into cyber crime.

“Complex attacks previously required serious skills, knowledge and resource, but now the technology and training is available for the price of a gallon of gas,” said Holland. “And whether it’s having your company and customer data exposed, deliveries delayed or even a hospital appointment cancelled, the explosion in cyber crime affects us all.

“At the heart of this is ransomware, which has created a new cyber criminal ecosystem rewarding smaller players with a slice of the profits. This is creating a cyber crime factory line, churning out attacks that can be very hard to defend against and putting the businesses we all rely on in the crosshairs.”

The exercise also found many cyber criminal vendors bundling their wares for sale. In what might reasonably be termed the cyber criminal equivalent of a supermarket meal deal, the buyers receive plug-and-play malware kits, malware- or ransomware-as-a-service (MaaS/RaaS), tutorials, and even mentoring, as opposed to sandwiches, crisps and a soft drink.

In fact, the skills barrier to cyber criminality has never been lower, the researchers said, with only 2-3% of threat actors now considered “advanced coders”.

And like people who use legitimate marketplaces such as Ebay or Etsy, cyber criminals value trust and reputation, with over three-quarters of the marketplaces of forums requiring a vendor bond of up to $3,000 to become a licensed seller. An even bigger majority – over 80% – used escrow systems to protect “good faith” deposits made by buyers, and 92% had some kind of third-party dispute resolution service.

Every marketplace studied also provides vendor feedback scores. In many cases, these hard-won reputations are transferrable between sites, the average lifespan of a dark web marketplace clocking in at less than three months.

Fortunately, protecting against such increasingly professional operations is, as ever, largely a case of paying attention to mastering the basics of cyber security, adding multi-factor authentication (MFA), better patch management, limiting risks posed by employees and suppliers, and being proactive in terms of gleaning threat intelligence.

Ian Pratt, HP Inc’s global head of security for personal systems, said: “We all need to do more to fight the growing cyber crime machine. For individuals, this means becoming cyber aware. Most attacks start with a click of a mouse, so thinking before you click is always important. But giving yourself a safety net by buying technology that can mitigate and recover from the impact of bad clicks is even better.

“For businesses, it’s important to build resiliency and shut off as many common attack routes as possible. For example, cyber criminals study patches on release to reverse-engineer the vulnerability being patched and can rapidly create exploits to use before organisations have patched. So, speeding up patch management is important.

“Many of the most common categories of threat, such as those delivered via email and the web, can be fully neutralised through techniques such as threat containment and isolation, greatly reducing an organisation’s attack surface, regardless of whether the vulnerabilities are patched or not.”

Thu, 21 Jul 2022 07:12:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252523004/Buy-plug-n-play-malware-for-the-price-of-a-pint-of-beer
Killexams : Honors Capstone

The Honors College has a number of talented faculty and staff to help you complete a meaningful capstone experience. These Members of the Honors Capstone Community can meet with you to help you get started on your Capstone. Honors College Capstone Co-Coordinators, Drs. Joslyn Cassady and Thomas Grant, are available to help you identify project ideas and potential mentors (and may serve as a faculty mentor on projects related to their expertise)! They may be reached at honorscapstone@uwyo.edu. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) section at the bottom of this webpage for additional information.

Need funding to support your project?

The Honors College has identified a number of opportunities to support research, creative and innovative capstone projects. The Honors College also ​has funding to help offset costs associated with your capstone work!  You and your faculty mentor submit an application directly to the Honors College (with requests not to exceed $3000). To apply for this grant, complete the Honors College Grant Application.

Getting Started

To begin your Honors Capstone, start by exploring the resources below and thinking about your passions, interests, and professional goals. Remember that the people best able to help you conceptualize a capstone project are faculty members in those disciplines related to your project ideas or interests. It is a great idea to reach out to faculty members for ideas as you begin to consider Honors capstone subjects and identify a faculty mentor. Once you have identified a faculty mentor, please complete the Honors Capstone Proposal. Note that you will complete the proposal form, and your faculty mentor will review and submit to the Honors College.  

Options for Honors Capstones

At the University of Wyoming Honors College, the Honors Capstones may take different forms depending on a student's professional goals, disciplinary background, and personal interests.  Three primary options are a research, creative or innovative/entrepreneurial project. 

A research-based project should present a hypothesis or assertion that is then tested, analyzed and evaluated according to the methods of an academic discipline or multiple disciplines. These research-based capstones investigate the previous research on a topic, and, importantly, also include your original research, insights, and contributions to the topic.

Other capstones are based in various creative and expressive modes of representation and are less dependent upon original academic research. Students with expertise in art, music, new media, theatre, dance, and creative writing often find this approach more in line with their own interests, aptitudes, and expectations within their majors.

Honors students have created paintings, composed music, written novels, made clothing, directed plays, and engaged in many other creative endeavors to fulfill the capstone requirement. Capstone projects may also involve entrepreneurship or invention or something we might not have imagined!

All creative capstone projects should include a written piece, known as a critical reflection, that accompanies the creative work. The reflection contextualizes one’s creative work, discusses related research, and describes its scholarly content.

We encourage students considering the creative option to meet with the Performing Arts Liaison, Associate Dean Leigh Selting, or the Honors Capstone Co-Coordinators, to discuss further.

Students interested in pursuing an innovative/entrepreneurial project should meet with the Honors Capstone Co-Coordinators or Fred Schmechel, the Innovative/Entrepreneurial Liaison, with Impact307 to discuss ideas and approaches. You may learn more about Mr. Schmechel here: https://impact307.org/meet-the-staff/

Important Deadlines: Fall 2021-Spring 2022

Deadline for December 2021 Honors Capstone Completion

Dec 6         Capstone Due to Faculty Mentor for Review (unless mentor identifies earlier dates- please ask!)

Dec 6-16   Revise and Resubmit to Faculty Mentor 

Dec 13       Present at Honors Roundtable 

Dec 17       Faculty Evaluation Rubric Due

Dec 20       Final Project Due to the UW Honors Repository (unless requesting exemption)

 

Deadline for May 2022 Honors Capstone Completion

Oct 31        Capstone Project Proposal Due

April 23      Present Project at Undergraduate Research and Inquiry Across the Disciplines Day

May 2         Capstone Due to Faculty Mentor for Review (unless mentor identifies earlier dates- please ask!)

May 2-12   Revise and Resubmit to Faculty Mentor 

May 13       Faculty Evaluation Rubric Due

May 16       Final Project Due to the UW Honors Repository (unless requesting exemption)

Your Honors Capstone should demonstrate your ability to:

  • complete a significant independent or collaborative project

  • locate and evaluate information

  • think critically and communicate your ideas effectively

  • situate your work in the appropriate critical, creative, and ethical conversations

  • display a high level of knowledge, creativity and intellectual ability in a specific area (usually related to your major)

Completing an Honors Capstone in conjunction with other programs

Some undergraduate majors require a capstone experience that may also fulfill the Honors Capstone requirement. In addition, some undergraduate research programs will also fulfill the Honors Capstone requirements. If you have questions about whether you could fulfill your Honors Capstone in your major, please contact the Honors Capstone Coordinators, Dr. Joslyn Cassady and Dr. Thomas Grant, at honorscapstone@uwyo.edu. For more information on a few specific programs see the links below:

  

Resources

Communities of Research

The University of Wyoming Honors College has access to the Student Opportunity Center, the nation's largest database for internships, scholarships, events, publishing and volunteering opportunities, funding, and more! Create a new user account using your UW email to peruse and browse the many opportunities that might be of interest to you, spurring new ideas, research, and experiences for your capstone project. 

Completed Honors Capstone projects by Former Students

Former Honors students have submitted their final Honors Capstone projects to the Honors Repository. You may read their work by searching the archives of the Honors Repository.

Example Presentations

Here are four student's presentations of their Honors Capstones, including the work of Karolina Klatka (Majors in Dance and Environmental Systems Science), Jaynie Welsh (Majors in Microbiology and Physiology), James Fantin (majors in Computer science and Mathematics) and Tessa Wittman (Majors in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology and Management and ENR). Click on the video presentations below and/or find their projects in the Honors Repository.

Wed, 18 Mar 2020 08:45:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.uwyo.edu/honors/current-transfer-honors-college-students/honors-capstone.html
Killexams : Systems Engineer (Unix / Linux) at Parvana Recruitment

Role:

  • This is a technical, hands-on opportunity for you to be part of a Unix operations team who have responsibility for the operating systems of several blue-chip clients.

Responsibilities:

  • Taking a high-level approach to both identifying and permanently resolving recurring support issues as proactively as possible while maintaining excellent customer relationships and promoting a positive customer experience.
  • Involved in the delivery of cutting-edge projects in the telecommunications industry, financial services sectors as well to assist within the team with the analysis and design of new and enhanced rollouts of the latest hardware, operating system and database technologies.
  • Implementation and maintenance of existing and new monitoring and alerting tools to ensure all alerts generated on customer sites are dealt with efficiently.

Qualification:

  • Relevant IT Qualifications (Diploma or Degree)
  • TDC and VCP Qualifications.
  • IT Hardware certifications advantageous (Server / storage / tape library)
  • Oracle certifications advantageous
  • Senior Certificate

Skills & Experience:

  • Unix administration experience (HP-UX / Solaris / AIX / Linux).
  • Unix scripting experience (Bash / Perl / Python / etc.).
  • Experience with VMware, Hypervisor, Veritas NetBackup, networking and RHEL Linux experience.
  • Knowledge of FC/SAN technologies advantageous (EMC / HP / IBM / ORACLE).
  • Knowledge of backup technologies advantageous (Symantec / EMC / HP / ORACLE).
  • A knowledge of relational database and stored procedures advantageous.

Desired Skills:

  • Systems Engineer
  • Unix
  • Linux

Learn more/Apply for this position

Tue, 12 Jul 2022 03:39:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://it-online.co.za/2022/07/12/systems-engineer-unix-linux-at-parvana-recruitment-8/
Killexams : Vodafone – The Journey From ‘Telco To TechCo’ With Help From Oracle Cloud

Vodafone is on a quest to pivot from being “just a Telco” to a “TechCo." The strategy includes revamping operations to reduce costs; digitally transforming the customer experience and service development processes; and developing a differentiated value proposition that leverages 5G, IoT, and edge investments and capabilities.

The company recently split the network infrastructure from digital functions with two closely aligned leaders. The reorganization sees Scott Petty step up to the group level to lead digital and IT operations, making him the critical leader in executing the plan to transform Vodafone into a cloud-first, data-driven 'TechCo”.

Before you stop reading and move on to the following article because you are not in the telecommunications business – let me say that the Vodafone challenge is not unique. I would say that this story applies to any company with discerning customers who have a choice. Please read on if you must continuously evolve customer-facing applications and content to retain customer loyalty.

The front-end and back-end – mind the gap!

We know the front-end is what the users can see while the back-end is the infrastructure that supports it - both need to be in perfect harmony. In the Telco world, the back-end is the “crown jewels," namely the operations support system (OSS), which maintains network operations, and the business support system (BSS), which covers order capture, and customer relationship management (CRM) and billing.

Both front-end and back-end functions are strongly intertwined. When consumer applications change every week, and the back-end is updated every quarter, the "gap" will eventually impact the ability to execute.

As Vodafone built more complex e-commerce applications on the front-end, the need increased for the same cloud capability from the core transactional systems (high-transaction BSS/OSS apps). Vodafone considered several options, including upgrading technology in-situ, building a private cloud platform, or using other third-party clouds.

But, moving transactional systems wholesale to the public cloud is costly and complex, with the risk of performance and latency issues associated with maintaining those systems, which need to remain on-premises for legal or compliance reasons.

Oracle was unique because it offered to build a complete public cloud capability in the Vodafone data centers. Vodafone was able to take a more flexible approach to modernize and migrate the mission-critical systems— the most data-intensive/demanding or too costly/risky to move wholesale to the public cloud.

Way too many databases!

How many databases are too many? Vodafone has fifteen thousand (not a typo) and eight thousand associated applications. Vodafone will be deploying Oracle Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer to modernize those thousands of Oracle databases that support its mission-critical transactional OSS and BSS systems—including core functions like order management and CRM. This task could take several years to complete.

Oracle Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer is a complete OCI cloud deployed in the data center, providing a secure cloud platform to modernize existing infrastructure while retaining full control of data governance, meeting demanding data residency and security regulations.

Vodafone envisages a world in which half of the applications run in Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud and the other half run on the Oracle Cloud. The mix is likely to change over time. The work to modernize the “crown jewel” applications onto the Oracle Cloud might cause application ecosystems to move from AWS onto Oracle Cloud because it would be a more natural fit.

Pivot from running technology to building new services

Vodafone has embraced Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) in a big way, consolidating forty data centers that run core services for its entire European operations (13 countries) into three locations (Ireland, Italy, and Germany) running on OCI.

The Oracle implementation is a critical pillar in the pivot from ‘Telco to TechCo,’ providing the foundation for a common platform across the Vodafone Group. It will allow rationalization and consolidation of the IT estate while leveraging the cloud as a more efficient way of delivering and scaling new communications services.

Vodafone expects to significantly cut costs across operations and accelerate the development and time to market for new services. The Oracle platform will also bring automation to IT operations, enabling more IT staff to focus on the digital experience and the use of data to drive better customer experiences.

Ultimately, the end game is to redirect the IT organization away from building, integrating, and running technology to provide customers with new services and a better digital experience.

As an example, Oracle Autonomous Database is now a feature of OCI. Oracle Autonomous Database is a cloud database that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to automate database tuning, security, backups, updates, and other routine management tasks without human intervention. Database administrators (DBAs) can now focus on more critical tasks, such as data aggregation, modeling, processing, governance strategies, and supporting developers.

One unique, differentiated example is that the Autonomous Database is serverless and elastic. When an application is not running on the Oracle Cloud, there are no CPUs dedicated hence no charges. Additionally, it is instantaneously elastic, increasing or decreasing servers and cores as needed while the database is still running.

Quickly monetizing IoT services

The long-awaited convergence of the network with the cloud, IoT, and MEC will become the foundation for new service offerings. With expertise in IoT, MEC, and 5g, Vodafone is well-positioned to offer new scalable next-generation digital services.

OCI offers integrated applications for Sales, Service, Marketing, Human Resources, Finance, Supply Chain, and Manufacturing, plus Automated and Secure Generation 2 Infrastructure featuring the Oracle Autonomous Database.

Vodafone is already monetizing IoT services using Oracle Communications Billing and Revenue Management (BRM) which runs on OCI. For example, sensors in connected vehicles can enable services such as GPS map updates or infotainment, charged on a subscription or consumption basis. The solution runs on the high-performance OCI Container Engine for Kubernetes and is automated with OCI Resource Manager and Terraform across multiple Oracle Cloud Regions. Today it is no longer about connecting IoT devices but providing complete solutions for customers.

The 5G wireless broadband expansion promises an exciting future.

For example, virtual reality applications will power high-tech glasses that deliver instructions to workers in complex fields such as airplane maintenance.

As Vodafone takes advantage of 5G, architectural agility will be essential to monetize next-generation services quickly and efficiently. Oracle's Billing and Revenue Management solution is well-positioned to support emerging 5G-enabled use cases with its cloud-native compliant, microservices-based architecture framework.

Wrapping up

Regular readers will know I have become impressed with Oracle's Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) and have written several articles. That was not always the case. I was critical of Oracle Cloud V1.0, but Oracle’s Generation 2 Cloud is an entirely new infrastructure developed from the ground up with no resemblance to its predecessor. The design goals were better performance, pricing, and—above all else—security. Oracle Cloud V2 is a significant improvement and more competitive.

As a long-time Oracle observer, I think it is incredible how the story around OCI is starting to resonate with customers. OCI as a single platform offering IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, and data as a service (DaaS) capabilities is not that sexy. But, combined with technologies such as Oracle Autonomous Database, Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse, and Oracle Autonomous Transaction Processing, the result is a platform capable of handling large, data-intensive workloads with better security. For organizations like Vodafone transitioning from on-premises data centers to the cloud, OCI is an ideal solution.

Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.

Moor Insights & Strategy, like all research and tech industry analyst firms, provides or has provided paid services to technology companies. These services include research, analysis, advising, consulting, benchmarking, acquisition matchmaking, and speaking sponsorships. The company has had or currently has paid business relationships with 8×8, Accenture, A10 Networks, Advanced Micro Devices, Amazon, Amazon Web Services, Ambient Scientific, Anuta Networks, Applied Brain Research, Applied Micro, Apstra, Arm, Aruba Networks (now HPE), Atom Computing, AT&T, Aura, Automation Anywhere, AWS, A-10 Strategies, Bitfusion, Blaize, Box, Broadcom, C3.AI, Calix, Campfire, Cisco Systems, Clear Software, Cloudera, Clumio, Cognitive Systems, CompuCom, Cradlepoint, CyberArk, Dell, Dell EMC, Dell Technologies, Diablo Technologies, Dialogue Group, Digital Optics, Dreamium Labs, D-Wave, Echelon, Ericsson, Extreme Networks, Five9, Flex, Foundries.io, Foxconn, Frame (now VMware), Fujitsu, Gen Z Consortium, Glue Networks, GlobalFoundries, Revolve (now Google), Google Cloud, Graphcore, Groq, Hiregenics, Hotwire Global, HP Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Honeywell, Huawei Technologies, IBM, Infinidat, Infosys, Inseego, IonQ, IonVR, Inseego, Infosys, Infiot, Intel, Interdigital, Jabil Circuit, Keysight, Konica Minolta, Lattice Semiconductor, Lenovo, Linux Foundation, Lightbits Labs, LogicMonitor, Luminar, MapBox, Marvell Technology, Mavenir, Marseille Inc, Mayfair Equity, Meraki (Cisco), Merck KGaA, Mesophere, Micron Technology, Microsoft, MiTEL, Mojo Networks, MongoDB, MulteFire Alliance, National Instruments, Neat, NetApp, Nightwatch, NOKIA (Alcatel-Lucent), Nortek, Novumind, NVIDIA, Nutanix, Nuvia (now Qualcomm), onsemi, ONUG, OpenStack Foundation, Oracle, Palo Alto Networks, Panasas, Peraso, Pexip, Pixelworks, Plume Design, PlusAI, Poly (formerly Plantronics), Portworx, Pure Storage, Qualcomm, Quantinuum, Rackspace, Rambus, Rayvolt E-Bikes, Red Hat, Renesas, Residio, Samsung Electronics, Samsung Semi, SAP, SAS, Scale Computing, Schneider Electric, SiFive, Silver Peak (now Aruba-HPE), SkyWorks, SONY Optical Storage, Splunk, Springpath (now Cisco), Spirent, Splunk, Sprint (now T-Mobile), Stratus Technologies, Symantec, Synaptics, Syniverse, Synopsys, Tanium, Telesign,TE Connectivity, TensTorrent, Tobii Technology, Teradata,T-Mobile, Treasure Data, Twitter, Unity Technologies, UiPath, Verizon Communications, VAST Data, Ventana Micro Systems, Vidyo, VMware, Wave Computing, Wellsmith, Xilinx, Zayo, Zebra, Zededa, Zendesk, Zoho, Zoom, and Zscaler. Moor Insights & Strategy founder, CEO, and Chief Analyst Patrick Moorhead is an investor in dMY Technology Group Inc. VI, Dreamium Labs, Groq, Luminar Technologies, MemryX, and Movandi.

Mon, 11 Jul 2022 12:01:00 -0500 Patrick Moorhead en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickmoorhead/2022/07/12/vodafone--the-journey-from-telco-to-techco-with-help-from-oracle-cloud/
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Facilities

The Computer Science laboratories in Gateway House provide 80 computer workstations for students to use. The space is divided into four interconnected laboratories each with 20 machines (20 HP PCs running Windows/Linux).

There are printing facilities available, internal network access and digital projectors to aid your learning. All the machines are connected via the Faculty of Technology network to a dedicated, high-performance file server for storage and backup of students' work. Many of the software packages are open source, which means students can get and run the software at home.

The computer science laboratories include individual and group study areas, and you will benefit from a computing laboratory reserved exclusively for use by postgraduate students.

Library and learning zones

On campus, the main Kimberlin Library offers a space where you can work, study and access a vast range of print materials, with computer stations, laptops, plasma screens and assistive technology also available. 

As well as providing a physical space in which to work, we offer online tools to support your studies, and our extensive online collection of resources accessible from our Library website, e-books, specialised databases and electronic journals and films which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose. 

We will support you to confidently use a huge range of learning technologies, including Blackboard, Collaborate Ultra, DMU Replay, MS Teams, Turnitin and more. Alongside this, you can access LinkedIn Learning and learn how to use Microsoft 365, and study support software such as mind mapping and note-taking through our new Digital Student Skills Hub. 

The library staff offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching, reference management and assistive technology. There is also a ‘Just Ask’ service for help and advice, live LibChat, online workshops, tutorials and drop-ins available from our Learning Services, and weekly library live chat sessions that deliver you the chance to ask the library teams for help.

More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.

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