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Steve King: Good day, everyone, this is Steve King. I'm the managing director at CyberTheory. Today, we're going to explore the world of Kubernetes and cloud containers with Dr. Nikki Robinson, an expert in statistical data analysis, quantitative methods and risk management. Currently a full time security architect with IBM. Nikki also serves as a fellow at the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, whose mission is to cultivate a cybersecurity renaissance that will Boost the resiliency of our nation's 16 critical infrastructure sectors, defend our democratic institutions and hopefully empower generations of global cybersecurity leaders. I'm all for that. I wish you the best in that regard. We definitely need it, Nikki. She holds multiple industry certifications, including the CISSP and CEH. She's a board member for the FBI InfraGard Maryland chapter and is actively involved in several different cybersecurity industry organizations. Welcome, Dr. Robinson. I'm glad you could join us today.

Dr. Nikki Robinson: Thank you so much for having me.

King: Let's jump right in here. Why do we insist on making our lives so complicated and difficult?

Robinson: Is that the whole question? I love it. It's funny, because this question is why I wanted to get into security. I started in IT operations, managing a virtualized environment, did some network engineering and, when I got into being a system owner, I realized how complex especially with integrating security and security practices and what I was doing, how complex the environment gets. You add GRC regulations, policies, procedures, tools, all these things. I'm not sure why we insist on making our lives so complicated. I guess I can't answer that question. But I can say, I think it's one of the reasons why I love being in security, I love the idea of trying to break down a lot of these complicated environments into something that's tangible and easy to manage.

King: Back in the day, when we were trying to figure out how to do all this stuff, the standard protocol with new systems was this is to sort of layer them on top of existing systems, or turn the old ones off in some way that would make them you know, inoperable, but still there, except that we didn't do a very good job of that. I don't think people do a very good job of that. I think we do that today, on a much grander scale. We do that with tools, in particular. Without getting too far down that rabbit hole, we have a very, very complex environment. I think that behavior hasn't changed in quite a few years. One of the things in my mind that immediately comes to mind is Kubernetes. Maybe for those that aren't familiar with containers and Kubernetes, maybe you can explain those technologies to our audience, and maybe why organizations seem to be increasingly adopting those technologies over traditional forms of storage and program development.

Robinson: I think containers, using something like Kubernetes, at the end of the day, I think the idea here is to make a couple of things right. One would be to make development easier for developers to separate the applications from the environments, from the OS levels, try to manage them separately, which helps increase the ability to develop faster and easier. As far as I think application development goes, it makes that area a lot easier. You could have one container, you can have multi-container applications. There's so many different configurations that you can do with it. The idea is that it's easy to use. It's not like standing up 40 servers from a template anymore. You're using containers and building these environments, ideally, limiting how many different machines or environments that you're logging into, how many applications that you're logging into. The idea is to consolidate configuration and management. So containers can be really powerful. They can in some ways make the environments more complex. But in some ways, especially if you are starting with a new environment, and you're standing up containerized environment versus you know, a virtual desktop environment or virtual servers, things like that, it can be easier to manage, especially if you have some sort of previous skill set or experience with it, it can be easy to set up and configure. I would say from why are we doing it sort of perspective, that's why. I think from an administration standpoint can be easier as well. But I think on the flip side of that, one of the other things to remember around using something like Kubernetes and containers, is that there are still a lot of the same principles that we have to consider. But the idea of how much time am I spending on administrative overhead for managing siloed servers or applications on servers and things like that, that's a different way of thinking about it. Containers help to ease administration for developers.

King: Not unlike so many things on paper, that makes complete sense. Why would you not want to separate those components out? Why would you want to replicate the same stuff you replicated the last time you wrote a system that looked very similar to the one you're writing today? The same argument is for APIs. Why would I want to write this for the sixth time when the next time I need whatever the function is, I'll just call it out of a library. Then that occurred famously to somebody and what 1996 or something, and the rest is history around there, as well. But these things take on lives of their own and open source is terrific on paper, but when it's not managed in the intended manner, it also has a tendency to expose itself to errors and mistakes that human beings typically kind of make. Maybe you have some commentary around that as well. I saw that recently, researchers said, in a report had found like 380,000 publicly exposed Kubernetes API servers, and it doesn't make sense. People like spinning these things up and just leaving them when they're no longer useful.

Robinson: Yeah, it's the same way I feel about this race to the cloud. We have these on-prem environments if we go to cloud environments, we move away from a physical data center to a cloud environment for the business. It makes more sense. It's potentially reducing cost, reducing management in house turning over, like if you don't have a dedicated security team, or a dedicated cloud engineering team, something like that, that you can still do application development using cloud systems without having to manage the infrastructure in the same way that there's so many benefits to moving to the cloud. When a lot of organizations started moving to the cloud, there were all of those exposed S3 buckets, tons of data breaches with misconfigurations around S3 buckets and I think it's very much the same way when it comes to Kubernetes containers, that there have been a lot of them stood up. I'll talk about API security in a second, because I think that's part of the conversation, but a different piece of this. But if you don't understand cloud security architecture, or like identity and access management principles, zero trust principles, those types of things, and how to apply them in a cloud environment, it's very much the same way that it would happen in a containerized environment that if the proper configuration settings aren't there, you're still potentially exposing these environments publicly. Even if there are some considerations up front without a proper investigation by security architects and engineers during the design and development phases, it can lead to these publicly exposed Kubernetes clusters or misconfigured containers, data breaches, all of those things because without the proper knowledge on how to secure them by design, that's where sort of all of that comes from. Then to speak on the API security portion, because I think API security in general, this is something I've gotten really interested in, especially in the last like, I would say, six to eight months, on what API security means. Because APIs in general make our lives easier - from a development standpoint, from an administrative standpoint, they are fantastic. We can use them for all kinds of things. But because they're so commonly used and used in lots of different ways, there is the possibility for human error, for them being set up insecurely, for them being integrated, or having dependencies that we're not aware of. API security has become a big issue, something that I'm certainly concerned about, because in the same way, as you're setting up these containers for these clustered environments, if you're just setting up APIs everywhere with API keys, and you're sharing them and using them in different ways, you don't sort of know the scope of what the potential risks might be unless there was some risk analysis done, or sort of like, "Hey, we're setting up this environment, we were going to have open and exposed APIs here, here and here, what do we need to know?" There's a OWASP Top 10. But in the last like year or two years, maybe a little longer than that, but they've been branching out into all these other different OWASP Top 10s and they have one on API security. If anyone hasn't checked it out and they're interested in what API security means, they have a fantastic list available to get an idea.

King: What do we do about that? If I agree with you that all of this begs the introduction of human behavior and human behavior is fraught with errors and mistakes, and confusion around something that looks right but isn't. What do we do about it?

Robinson: I think the biggest thing to do is if as a developer or an engineer, you're standing up these environments, and you don't have the expertise and security around these environments, which I think it's unfair to assume that everybody has to know everything about security, but then there should be a security engineer, or someone who has at least some experience with this involved in the architecture and design of whatever the application or development environment that you're creating, and building so that you can get those answers from the ground up and be involved. Have them be involved initially, or even when you get to a place if you've got this environment running for six months, and you're like, "Oh, I haven't had anyone look at this. Maybe I should have someone come by and look." If you're not an expert, have an expert come by and check it out. Because you don't know what you don't know.

King: Did much of your development experience was all cloud native? Or did you start life in on-prem a bit as well?

Robinson: I started life on-prem. My undergrad was IT and software engineering. I did a lot of did some C++, lot of SQL, a lot of Java. From the web development side, building and managing websites to a lot of CSS, so HTML. But started on-prem and then just in the last 5-6-7 years, dealing more with cloud environments as they've become more prevalent and everybody is looking to cloud solutions.

King: I've seen numbers that suggest that were as high as 98-99%, even new code that that's all reused code that comes out of repos. Is that really a good idea? One of the things that I find hard to believe, if anyone claims that they do is that this code is this reusable code is vetted. There's so many dependencies that the APIs themselves require, that are somewhere out on an attack surface somewhere. I don't think we've got a good handle on what gets called, what doesn't get called under what circumstances - what does and what doesn't - let alone that the genuine functionality of the API that's being called by the API that you're using in your code.

Robinson: I think it's absolutely a big challenge right now, because it's the way technology goes. We adopt new methods and new ways of doing things because it makes development easier. But then security comes along after and it's like, "Oh, hey, hold on a second that we were actually a little concerned about this." It is difficult, I think at this point to know what dependencies exist, what third parties, now we're talking about fourth and fifth-level parties that are involved. Once you add that much different dependencies, and then different groups that you may not even know who's managing things. I was memorizing an article today about how lots of bad actors, malicious actors out there are offering to maintain code, they're offering to maintain these open-source libraries. They're injecting malware or other malicious code into these open-source libraries. That's pretty scary. I think it's definitely a big concern, when we're talking about adopting open-source software, and what does open-source software security mean, to me. I think you have to assume and I'm in security, so I am a self-proclaimed doom and gloom expert. But I think you have to assume at some point in the amount of dependencies that you have, or in the amount of libraries that you that you may be using, that there may be malicious code in there. You have to assume that it's there. Then you can manage risk from there.

King: Is that new service called malware as a service. Is that how that works?

Robinson: Malware as a service, ransomware as a service, it's all out there.

King: That's great. Let's talk about cloud, for example. As long as we're talking about complexity here, the rush to the cloud makes sense for all the right reasons. Hybrid cloud makes sense for those right reasons. But when we do it, the doing of it is not simple any more than, well, let's take container technology and not just isolate Kubernetes, because I think Kubernetes was designed by a bunch of folks at Google. One that had a little internal contest that said, "Look at how smart I am." Because I'm going to build some shit here that nobody else can figure out. But on the container in cloud side, both of those are complex technologies. It's where a lot of breaches occur. In terms of that, that level of complexity, do you have any thoughts about, how we get our hands around the software supply chain as it relates to either or both?

Robinson: The biggest thing is awareness, but I think too many times, we want to know, what is the fastest way I can get this done, and most of the time, it's probably because there's dollars involved - either you're supporting a customer or you're developing a solution, or whatever it might be. But I think the real challenge to organizations and to cloud environments, in general, is what level of support do you need. If you're trying to save money, then you're not going to have as much infrastructure support that's managed by whatever cloud provider it is. But if you are not trying to save money, but you know that you don't have the expertise or the skill set in your environment to manage the security, like the patching, or the sort of the vulnerability management basic components of the environment, you can turn that over that infrastructure over to somebody else and let them do that. I think that's like one of the biggest thoughts when it comes to cloud specifically is if you're trying to save money by going to the cloud, you may not be saving on security. There are a lot of free security tools. I would say get educated on those and know what is available. But you've got to break that down to what's going to be applicable to your environment and what skill set you have available to manage those environments. When it comes to open-source software, software supply chain security, I think a lot of organizations are going to have to have a software supply chain security program. You're going to have to have it especially if you are heavy into development, and building solutions, building tools, or leveraging open-source software, which most people are. I think having a good program in place is going to be important to making sure that things like Log4j don't have as much of an impact. That's why I say one of the biggest things you can do is sort of have an incident response plan. Just assume that something is going to happen. If you want to leverage this technology, that's fine. It's understandable. But if you can have at least an IR plan in place, understand what you're going to do when something happens then you can recover a lot faster and not have it impede you as much. There's certainly mechanisms around it. Not to say don't use it at all, but if you're going to use it -one, be careful and two, just be prepared when something goes.

King: It doesn't appear to me and that just from maybe my vantage point, but this is my business and has been for a long time and I just don't see a lot of people either, you know developing, testing, involved with their IRPs and I wonder why that is. It's common knowledge and it's like, "Oh, if you're going to do that you need an incident response plan." Great. We all understand that. Why don't we do it?

Robinson: It's a great question. Again circling back to your first question is, why do we make this so difficult? It's like we have the tools in place, we can do this. I think the biggest thing is, and I can only speak for smaller organizations or mid-sized organizations, how big are their security programs? How much do they have to spend on a program? Or how much are they leveraging. To put a good incident response program in place is essential. But I don't know that it's sort of gets as big of a play. It's not like a exciting course to talk about your incident response plan and your communication plan and all that. But, threat hunting is exciting, pen testing is exciting, red teaming, like all these things are the exciting areas of security. But the building and the resiliency isn't always I think the first thing that people think of and that's not to say that people don't but I think you're right. I think that IR plans need to be not just in place, but then tested frequently. To get a little sidetracked but I think this is why the principles of like chaos engineering and chaos, security engineering are so interesting, because you take that IR plan, that reactive approach into this proactive approach, where you're testing your environment consistently, to make sure that your security configurations are in place and working as expected. That way, you're not waiting for something to happen, you are actively testing your environment.

King: Patching and just general hygiene aren't very exciting, either. But they seem to be the cause of most of our breaches. Something's got to deliver here. You mentioned chaos engineering. Am I mistaken or did you teach chaos engineering at some point?

Robinson: I've done a few talks on chaos engineering and chaos security engineering principles. I got interested in this like two years ago, because I was looking into chaos engineering, and what they did at Netflix and a couple of the other big organizations. I love the hypothesis-based sort of scientific method approach of chaos engineering. It sounds like, "oh, chaos engineering, I'm just going to break stuff." But it is this methodical approach. I have a hypothesis, I believe that if I change x, that y will occur. Then you can test it, and then just see if it works. You have this iterative approach to "I think this might break, let's see, if it breaks."

King: It appears to me to be a much more rigorous approach than some random pen testing, or red team activity as well, which is appeals, because then you've got some audit trail to this is where we started and this is where we ended up and, here are the four places that we need to do something about. I asked that because as you're probably aware, we're building out our CyberEd.io training program here at ISMG. It's one of the things that I'm involved with, and I would invite you if you're interested in putting together two or three-module course on chaos engineering, and how you put that together and what your expectations might be around that, that we'd be delighted to work with you on.

Robinson: We'll have to talk about that.

King: For those that are looking to learn more about Kubernetes, and container security, do you have any recommended resources, aside from our training?

Robinson: I highly suggest there are a lot of good resources out there. Specifically, we're talking about container security and cloud security principles. I know the Linux Foundation has some cloud security type stuff. Udemy has some good stuff too. But there is a lot of good open-source information out there. I highly suggest, especially if you're interested in security from like a pen testing angle or getting an idea of how would an attacker get into a system and maybe why there's hack the box. That's a great resource. Then I have to because he wrote the book on security chaos engineering by Aaron Reinhart. I highly suggest picking up that book too. That's a great resource if you're interested in chaos, security engineering principles, and how they might apply to taking incident response into a proactive view. That's another really good resource.

King: Great. Thank you. The last question that I have is around vulnerability management. I wonder why it's still so difficult for companies that it's obviously why it's important to patch and mitigate end of life software and all of those issues. Is vulnerability scanning still a major component to secure a network, and if you had a continuous monitoring program, and what are the current issues around patching end of life?

Robinson: I think one of the biggest problems is that there are so many vulnerabilities released every day. Just from a mental standpoint, when you're looking at a vulnerability scanning tool or a report that you're getting on vulnerabilities, it can be overwhelming - just looking at how many vulnerabilities exist in the environment. I think it's difficult because we, as an industry make vulnerability reporting complicated. Instead of saying, "Hey, you have these 10 assets, they're the most vulnerable, patch these first. Get those done. Okay, now, we need to focus on the next, the next, the next," and making it this iterative approach. But I think it can be time consuming. Patch management can be time consuming. If you're running VMs, it's so much easier, you just update the base template, and then push it out to all your VMs versus I have this many servers, they're not based on template. Now I've got a patch each one, I don't have a patch management strategy. I think those are a lot of the basics that sometimes get overlooked, which is (a) I need a patch management strategy, and (b) how do I automate that patch management strategy and take as much of the manual overhead off of me and automate as much as possible. I think those are two big things that can impact an organization positively. But I think it's just still difficult because people have gotten into this big tech debt space, you know, with so many old applications, so many old are end of life operating systems that they're using. Because they feel like, "well, I'm supporting this environment, I have to use it, I can't get off of it." I think if we can change that mindset, and say, "if you want to move to the cloud, or if you are thinking about moving to the cloud, or moving from cloud to containers, you can use that as a good opportunity to remove a lot of the tech debt, to remove a lot of the vulnerabilities and start with updated software/updated libraries/update all those things." But that would have to be security by design in your new environment. I think right now, it's difficult, because a lot of people are still in these hybrid situations. They've got some on-prem, they've got some cloud, or maybe they have hybrid cloud. We've made our environments so big and complex that vulnerability management becomes challenging.

King: That last statement is that after my own heart, I'm convinced that complexity is our biggest problem in our insistence upon looking the other way. That we don't want to deal with it, who would? It's just enormous, the size of the problem. But I think from a lecture notes point of view, your last set of comments about vulnerabilities was terrific and a great way to end our session. I hope that we can come back together again in a few months and talk some more about this, because this problem is not going away. It's getting worse every day. Our adversaries don't share a lot of these problems. It weakens our overall ability to compete as well and a whole bunch of other things that we don't have time to cover right now. But I do appreciate you taking time out from your schedule to join us and help us understand some of the more esoteric parts of the cybersecurity puzzle today.

Robinson: Absolutely. Thank you for having me.

King: I will look forward to having you again soon. Thank you to our audience for spending a half an hour with us today. Hopefully it was useful to you as well. With that, take care and we'll talk to you again soon.

Sun, 09 Oct 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.govinfosecurity.com/interviews/challenges-kubernetes-cloud-containers-i-5157
Killexams : IBM to announce $20B investment during Biden trip to New York

IBM on Thursday will announce plans to invest $20 billion over the next 10 years on research and development initiatives and semiconductor manufacturing as President Biden visits the company’s campus in New York.

Biden will travel to Poughkeepsie to speak about his economic plan and meet with workers, a White House official said. The president will highlight IBM’s announcement, which comes on the heels of another investment from chip manufacturer Micron in upstate New York.

IBM said its vision for the Poughkeepsie campus is to become “a global hub of the company’s quantum computing development.”

Biden will be joined during the visit by Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) and Pat Ryan (D-N.Y.).

Biden will also attend fundraisers in New York City and Red Bank, N.J., during Thursday’s trip.

The IBM announcement is the latest economic win for the White House since the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act, which passed with bipartisan support and included more than $50 billion in incentives for manufacturers to build domestic semiconductor plants. It also included more than $80 billion for the National Science Foundation authorized over five years to support innovation and research.

Biden administration officials had for months warned of supply chain and national security risks if Congress did not invest in domestic manufacturing of chips that are used to power computers, cars and major home appliances, arguing the U.S. would become too reliant on China and others for the semiconductors.

Thu, 06 Oct 2022 09:26:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/3675515-ibm-to-announce-20b-investment-during-biden-trip-to-new-york/
Killexams : IBM Expands Partner Access To Training Resources

Channel programs News

Wade Tyler Millward

“We can‘t be essential unless our partners are skilled in our products and confident in going to their clients with our products and selling them with us and for IBM,” IBM channel chief Kate Woolley said.

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IBM has started giving registered members of its PartnerWorld program access to the training, badges and enablement IBM sales employees get along with a new learning hub for accessing materials.

The expansion is part of the Armonk, N.Y.-based tech giant’s investment in its partner program, IBM channel chief Kate Woolley told CRN in an interview.

“We can‘t be essential unless our partners are skilled in our products and confident in going to their clients with our products and selling them with us and for IBM,” said Woolley (pictured), general manager of the IBM ecosystem.

[RELATED: Channel Chief Kate Woolley: ‘No Better Time To Be An IBM Partner’]

Partners now have access to sales and technical badges showing industry expertise, according to a blog post Tuesday. Badges are shareable on LinkedIn and other professional social platforms. IBM sales representatives and partners will receive new content at the same time as it becomes available.

“This is the next step in that journey in terms of making sure that all of our registered partners have access to all of the same training, all of the same enablement materials as IBMers,” Woolley told CRN. “That’s the big message that we want people to hear. And then also in line with continuing to make it easier to do business with IBM, this has all been done through a much improved digital experience in terms of how our partners are able to access and consume.”

Among the materials available to IBM partners are scripts for sales demonstrations, templates for sales presentations and positioning offerings compared to competitors, white papers, analyst reports and solution briefs. Skilling and enablement materials are available through a new learning hub IBM has launched.

“The partners are telling us they want more expertise on their teams in terms of the IBM products that they‘re able to sell and how equipped they are to sell them,” Woolley said. “And as we look at what we’re hearing from clients as well, clients want that. … Our clients are saying, ‘We want more technical expertise. We want more experiential selling. We want IBM’ – and that means the IBM ecosystem as well – ‘to have all of that expertise and to have access to all the right enablement material to be able to engage with us as clients.’”

The company has doubled the number of brand-specialized partner sellers in the ecosystem and increased the number of technical partner sellers by more than 35 percent, according to IBM.

The company’s exact program changes have led to improved deal registration and introduced to partners more than 7,000 potential deals valued at more than $500 million globally, according to IBM. Those numbers are based on IBM sales data from January 2022 to August.

Along with the expanded access to training and enablement resources, Woolley told CRN that another example of aligning the IBM sales force and partners was a single sales kickoff event for employees and partners. A year ago, two separate events were held.

“I want our partners to continue to feel and see this as a big investment in them and representative of how focused we are on the ecosystem and how invested we are,” she said.

Wade Tyler Millward

Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and the channel partner programs of Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud vendors. He can be reached at wmillward@thechannelcompany.com.

Tue, 04 Oct 2022 07:15:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.crn.com/news/channel-programs/ibm-expands-partner-access-to-training-resources
Killexams : Biden hails IBM's $20 billion New York manufacturing deal

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y., Oct 6 (Reuters) - President Joe Biden on Thursday championed his administration's push to subsidize U.S. semiconductor chip manufacturing and boost blue-collar jobs at a visit to an IBM Corp (IBM.N) facility in New York.

IBM plans to invest $20 billion in New York's Hudson Valley region, once a manufacturing powerhouse, over the next decade to make and develop semiconductors, mainframe technology, artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

"Where is it written that we can’t lead manufacturing in the world?” Biden said. "The supply chain is going to start here and end here, in the United States."

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Government funding is essential to boost manufacturing and ensure U.S. national security by producing critical goods now made abroad, Biden said. His administration and fellow Democrats have directed billions in federal funding to encourage private- sector spending and create jobs.

IBM's announcement is the latest in a string of investments unveiled since Biden signed the Chips and Science bill in August which funded $52 billion to subsidize semiconductor chips manufacturing and research.

"America invented these chips," Biden said.

Hefty subsidies for private businesses are necessary because China and the European Union had been awarding billions in incentives to chip companies, the White House says.

U.S. President Joe Biden tours areas damaged by Hurricane Ian during a visit to Florida, in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, U.S., October 5, 2022. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

Biden has sought to capitalize on the investment announcements ahead of next month's midterm congressional elections. Last month, he traveled to Ohio to speak at the site of Intel Corp's (INTC.O) planned $20 billion semiconductor manufacturing facility.

The Hudson Valley, home of IBM's Poughkeepsie site, was an economic powerhouse during America's Industrial Revolution, but regional jobs dried up during the second half of the last century, as companies fled to lower-cost locations.

IBM, which laid off thousands of people in the region in the 1990s when it moved chip and other manufacturing, said it now plans to make the site "a global hub of the company's quantum computing development, just as it is today for mainframes."

IBM did not provide a detailed breakdown of its $20 billion investment plans.

The White House said it was sparked by Biden's economic policies.

"The industrial strategy is really helping to drive a renaissance in American manufacturing, and domestic investment ... that we haven’t seen in generations," White House National Economic Director Brian Deese told reporters en route to the IBM site.

On Tuesday, Micron Technology (MU.O) said it would invest up to $100 billion over the next 20-plus years to build a semiconductor fabrication facility in New York that is expected to create nearly 50,000 jobs, with the first phase investment of $20 billion planned this decade.

Biden was joined by IBM Chief Executive Arvind Krishna.

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Reporting by Nandita Bose in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and David Shepardson in Washington Editing by Heather Timmons and Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Thu, 06 Oct 2022 12:16:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.reuters.com/technology/biden-tout-ibms-20-bln-investment-new-york-over-next-decade-2022-10-06/
Killexams : IBM Whale Trades Spotted

Someone with a lot of money to spend has taken a bearish stance on IBM IBM.

And retail traders should know.

We noticed this today when the big position showed up on publicly available options history that we track here at Benzinga.

Whether this is an institution or just a wealthy individual, we don't know. But when something this big happens with IBM, it often means somebody knows something is about to happen.

So how do we know what this whale just did?

Today, Benzinga's options scanner spotted 11 uncommon options trades for IBM.

This isn't normal.

The overall sentiment of these big-money traders is split between 27% bullish and 72%, bearish.

Out of all of the special options we uncovered, 7 are puts, for a total amount of $1,280,392, and 4 are calls, for a total amount of $243,682.

What's The Price Target?

Taking into account the Volume and Open Interest on these contracts, it appears that whales have been targeting a price range from $105.0 to $165.0 for IBM over the last 3 months.

Volume & Open Interest Development

Looking at the volume and open interest is an insightful way to conduct due diligence on a stock.

This data can help you track the liquidity and interest for IBM's options for a given strike price.

Below, we can observe the evolution of the volume and open interest of calls and puts, respectively, for all of IBM's whale activity within a strike price range from $105.0 to $165.0 in the last 30 days.

IBM Option Volume And Open Interest Over Last 30 Days

Biggest Options Spotted:

Symbol PUT/CALL Trade Type Sentiment Exp. Date Strike Price Total Trade Price Open Interest Volume
IBM PUT TRADE NEUTRAL 12/16/22 $115.00 $905.6K 351 1.8K
IBM CALL SWEEP BULLISH 06/21/24 $125.00 $151.2K 27 120
IBM PUT SWEEP BEARISH 01/20/23 $125.00 $113.7K 4.0K 5
IBM PUT SWEEP BEARISH 10/14/22 $120.00 $70.6K 816 322
IBM PUT TRADE BULLISH 01/19/24 $165.00 $64.4K 53 13
Symbol PUT/CALL Trade Type Sentiment Exp. Date Strike Price Total Trade Price Open Interest Volume
IBM PUT TRADE NEUTRAL 12/16/22 $115.00 $905.6K 351 1.8K
IBM CALL SWEEP BULLISH 06/21/24 $125.00 $151.2K 27 120
IBM PUT SWEEP BEARISH 01/20/23 $125.00 $113.7K 4.0K 5
IBM PUT SWEEP BEARISH 10/14/22 $120.00 $70.6K 816 322
IBM PUT TRADE BULLISH 01/19/24 $165.00 $64.4K 53 13

Where Is IBM Standing Right Now?

  • With a volume of 2,052,099, the price of IBM is up 1.05% at $118.99.
  • RSI indicators hint that the underlying stock may be approaching oversold.
  • Next earnings are expected to be released in 8 days.

What The Experts Say On IBM:

  • Morgan Stanley has decided to maintain their Overweight rating on IBM, which currently sits at a price target of $152.

Options are a riskier asset compared to just trading the stock, but they have higher profit potential. Serious options traders manage this risk by educating themselves daily, scaling in and out of trades, following more than one indicator, and following the markets closely.

If you want to stay updated on the latest options trades for IBM, Benzinga Pro gives you real-time options trades alerts.

© 2022 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Tue, 11 Oct 2022 13:56:00 -0500 text/html https://www.benzinga.com/markets/options/22/10/29224106/ibm-whale-trades-spotted
Killexams : Biden touts exact IBM, Micron investments amid broader economic concerns

President Biden traveled to New York on Thursday to tout another major manufacturing investment, this time from IBM, as a sign of confidence among business leaders in the U.S. economy.

Amid concerns about gas prices, broader inflation and rising interest rates, Biden on Thursday sought to focus on a particular bright spot for the administration: exact investments by major tech companies spurred by federal legislation to support semiconductor manufacturing and shore up the domestic supply chain.

Biden was in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., on Thursday to celebrate a planned $20 billion investment from IBM over the next decade to boost research and development initiatives and semiconductor manufacturing.

The IBM announcement came on the heels of Micron, another semiconductor manufacturer, unveiling plans to spend $100 billion on a new facility near Syracuse, N.Y. Micron previously announced a major investment in its Boise, Idaho, campus.

And Biden visited Ohio last month to highlight a groundbreaking for a new Intel facility.

“As we saw during the pandemic, when factories that make these chips shut down around the world, the global economy literally comes to a screeching halt,” Biden said Thursday. 

“More Americans have learned the phrase ‘supply chain,’” he added. “Well guess what. The supply chain is going to start here and end here, in the United States.”

Those investments aim to restore microchip manufacturing to the U.S. over the next decade after companies outsourced production to Asian countries. Biden noted that car prices skyrocketed in exact years due to a shortage of chips, which are also used in smartphones, appliances and weapon systems.  

The IBM announcement is the latest economic win for the White House since the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act, which passed with bipartisan support and included more than $50 billion in incentives for manufacturers to build domestic semiconductor plants. It also included more than $80 billion for the National Science Foundation to support innovation and research.

Still, the White House is grappling with shorter-term economic headwinds and policy decisions that are largely out of its control.

The Federal Reserve, an independent body, is sticking with its plan to raise interest rates in an effort to bring prices down, despite warnings from Biden administration officials and lawmakers that continued fiscal tightening could ravage the economy. 

In her first public remarks since being confirmed to the board, Federal Reserve Governor Lisa Cook said Thursday that getting inflation under control “will require ongoing rate hikes and then keeping policy restrictive for some time.”

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Thursday that interest rate hikes are taking a toll on the global economy, particularly among poorer nations that may now struggle to pay their debts.

“Policymakers in the major economies must continue implementing policies to rein in high inflation while remaining attentive to global repercussions,” Yellen said at a Center for Global Development event.

Her comments came after the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development this week urged the Federal Reserve and other central banks to reverse course on aggressive rate hikes, warning that they could cause a global recession. 

The International Monetary Fund said Thursday that the global economy will lose out on roughly $4 trillion in growth through 2026 and predicted that “things are more likely to get worse before it gets better.” The World Trade Organization on Wednesday estimated that global trade will only grow by 1 percent next year, down from its 3.4 percent prediction in April.  

Higher interest rates are already beginning to slow hiring in the U.S. The number of job openings fell by 1.1 million from July to August, according to Labor Department data released Tuesday, giving economists some hope that the nation’s labor shortage will ease but prompting concerns about a larger slowdown.

Meanwhile, OPEC+ this week announced that it would cut global oil production by 2 million barrels a day in anticipation of lower demand, a move that will likely increase prices at the pump soon. 

Before departing for New York, Biden told reporters he was disappointed in the decision by the oil-exporting coalition, which includes Saudi Arabia and Russia, and indicated the White House was exploring alternatives to try and stabilize gas prices.

“There’s a lot of alternatives. We haven’t made up our mind yet,” Biden said.

Brian Deese, head of the National Economic Council, said one focus would be on pushing oil refiners to bring down the retail price of gasoline to more in line with historical trends when compared with the wholesale cost.

The administration will be closely eyeing a few key economic indicators in the coming weeks. Unemployment numbers from September will be released on Friday, with last month’s inflation data coming the week after.

When asked about the broader economic trajectory of the country, Deese told reporters the White House is trying to balance both short-term concerns about the U.S. economy and long-term efforts to transition the economy after the peak of the coronavirus pandemic into a sustainable, stable place.

“Even as we focus on the important near-term issues, like dealing with refineries to try to keep the progress in gas prices coming down to sustain it, we are very focused on the long-term economic strategy that this president has had since taking office,” Deese told reporters. “And one of the key hallmarks of that is how do we build a more resilient economy.”

Thu, 06 Oct 2022 03:22:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/3676893-biden-touts-recent-ibm-micron-investments-amid-broader-economic-concerns/
Killexams : IBM Assimilates Red Hat Storage Technology Into Own Storage Business

Storage News

Joseph F. Kovar

IBM, which three years ago acquired Red Hat, is now moving Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation and Red Hat Ceph, along with their development teams, into IBM Storage as part of a move to make a bigger play in the software-defined and open-source storage worlds.

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IBM Tuesday said it has absorbed storage technology and teams from its Red Hat business to combine them with IBM’s own storage business unit as a way to help clients take advantage of the two without requiring extra integration or having to deal with multiple sales teams.

IBM is integrating Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation with its IBM Spectrum Fusion and will offer Red Hat Ceph-based storage technologies to its clients in a move to continue Big Blue’s software-defined storage leadership, said Brent Compton, senior director of Data Foundation for Red Hat’s hybrid cloud business.

For IBM, which in mid-2019 acquired Red Hat in a $34-billion deal, the move ensures maximum support for Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation and Ceph, Compton told CRN.

[Related: 2022 Storage 100: Who’s Got Your Backup?]

“OpenShift Data Foundation and Ceph will become a big part of IBM Storage,” he said. “IBM has been looking for a way to take advantage of Ceph and ODF, and now it can.”

Ceph is an open-source software-defined object storage technology with interfaces for object, block and file storage. Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation is a software-defined container-native storage that provides cluster data management capabilities as part of the OpenShift container platform.

Scott Baker, chief marketing officer and vice president of IBM hybrid cloud portfolio and product marketing, told CRN the move to combine Red Hat and IBM storage technologies sets the stage for growth in the combined software-defined storage portfolio.

“Customers not only get a choice of where storage runs—at the edge, in the cloud, or on-prem—but will find storage software releases will no longer be tied to the timing of storage hardware releases,” Baker said. “For instance, IBM normally enhances its Spectrum Virtualize or Spectrum Scale with new versions of the IBM FlashSystem. But with software-defined storage, we can drive changes quicker if they’re not tied to hardware releases.”

By bringing Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation and Ceph into IBM, customers get the opportunity to access unified block, file, and object storage without regard to the genuine underlying hardware, Baker said.

“They can use Ceph to add the right type of storage depending on the protocol they need,” he said. “Ceph and ODF also simplifies how IBM provides data storage and protection. To do all that with IBM’s storage portfolio takes time. With CEF and ODF as part of IBM Storage, this can get done immediately.”

It really is the best of both worlds, as Red Hat customers will also see strong benefits from IBM Storage, Compton said.

“It’s important to note that IBM will continue to offer OpenShift Data Foundation inside the Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus hybrid cloud platform,” he said. “So if a customer gets pre-integrated OpenShift Data Foundation inside Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus, it accelerates their time to market. There’s no need to integrate the storage. This will not change.”

Also, Red Hat OpenShift customers have used Ceph to accelerate their time to scale for years, and Red Hat will continue to sell Ceph, Compton said.

“But by moving Ceph to IBM Storage, IBM will accelerate development of the storage-specific features,” he said. “Red Hat is not a storage company. So this will accelerate development of unified capabilities.”

IBM’s storage move makes good on the potential many saw with the company’s acquisition of Red Hat, said John Teltsch, chief revenue officer at Converge Technology Solutions, a Gatineau, Quebec-based solution provider and channel partner to both IBM and Red Hat that ranked No. 36 on CRN’s 2022 Solution Provider 500.

“This is something the channel has been waiting for ever since IBM acquired Red Hat,” Teltsch told CRN. “IBM has been doing a lot around software-defined storage. And when you add in Red Hat, it gives us an integrated solutions play. It lets us build an integrated sales team. We don’t have to first talk about IBM storage capabilities, and then bring in our Red Hat team to talk about Red Hat.”

Converge Technology Partners’ IBM and Red Hat sales teams are currently two separate teams, said Teltsch, who joined the company in March from IBM, where he held numerous sales leadership roles, including two years as Big Blue’s channel chief.

“Once IBM and Red Hat storage are together, it gets more simple to sell,” he said. “And it simplifies our training while IBM will have one integrated set of offerings for its clients. This lets us bring the best of Red Hat open-source capabilities with IBM storage. We’re living in a data-driven world. This move simplifies our go-to-market, as well as simplifies the client experience, client engagement, and client adoption.”

Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at jkovar@thechannelcompany.com.

Tue, 04 Oct 2022 19:00:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.crn.com/news/storage/ibm-assimilates-red-hat-storage-technology-into-own-storage-business
Killexams : Better Buy: IBM Stock vs. 2-Year Treasury Notes

Investors this year increasingly turned away from dividend stocks in favor of the rising yields being offered on bonds. Given that investors can now earn a 4.3% return on a 2-year Treasury note, many prefer that guaranteed return to the risks of putting money into the stock market.

International Business Machines (IBM 1.82%) offers a dividend yield that exceeds that bond return. But with a bear market in progress, are investors better served to take a chance on the cloud stock or to take the 4.3% return at virtually zero risk?

IBM and its dividend

IBM didn't participate in the bull market of the 2010s. The stock dropped as its tech businesses suffered a considerable growth slowdown. In an effort to change that, IBM pivoted into the cloud computing sector aggressively, in part via its $34 billion purchase of Red Hat in 2019. Grand View Research forecasts a compound annual growth rate of 16% through 2030 for the cloud industry. Growth like that could certainly help both IBM and its stock.

Also, IBM spun off its managed infrastructure business into a new public company, Kyndryl. This business was less of a fit with the parent company amid its pivot to the cloud. Separating it off should make it easier for IBM to grow its revenue.

Time will tell if these moves can help the stock price recover. Nonetheless, IBM currently pays its shareholders $1.65 per share every quarter, or $6.60 per share annually. At the current stock price, that adds up to a yield of 5.6% per year. Moreover, depending on your financial situation, the IRS may tax your dividends at a lower capital gains rate, which can offer an added advantage.

Additionally, IBM hiked its payout annually for 27 consecutive years, making it a Dividend Aristocrat. That status carries some importance as many income investors will be more inclined to buy and hold IBM stock because of this status. Also, since abandoning Dividend Aristocrat status tends to hurt a stock, management will probably prioritize maintaining it by continuing to raise those payouts.

Investors also can also reinvest their dividend payments into more IBM stock. However, such newly purchased shares will pay you the dividend yield at that time. The return will rise if the stock falls since investors can buy the exact cash return at a lower price. Conversely, cash yields will drop if the stock rises, but those investors still benefit since the stock has increased in value.

What to know about 2-year Treasury notes

U.S. Treasury notes offer more stability than stocks such as IBM. Investors who purchase the 2-year Treasury note receive semiannual interest payments. At the current interest rate of 4.3%, investors will receive a 2.15% cash return on their invested amount in each of the subsequent three six-month periods. In the fourth period, when the note matures, investors receive the final 2.15% payment along with the return of their principal.

Investors should also be aware that bond values can fluctuate. If interest rates drop, the value of the bond will fall; the opposite will happen if rates rise. This affects investors if they decide to sell the bond early. Upon maturity, the note will return to its par (or nominal) value.

Additionally, bond interest payments are subject to federal income tax but exempt from state and local taxes. In some cases, this is higher than taxes on dividends. Still, bond issuers are obligated to make such payments. In contrast, IBM faces no legal obligation to continue its dividend.

Also, like with a stock, investors can reinvest their interest payments into more notes or other forms of Treasury bonds. However, those purchases will be subject to the prevailing interest rates at that time.

IBM or the 2-year Treasury note?

Investors who lack much risk tolerance should choose the Treasury note. Given its guaranteed return, they will not have to worry about volatility.

Nonetheless, for investors comfortable with buying stocks, IBM is a surprisingly strong buy. The cloud industry is in growth mode, which should propel IBM stock to a long-awaited turnaround. Moreover, IBM has repeatedly shown it wants to hold on to its Dividend Aristocrat status. This should deliver its income investors returns that are not only larger than the bonds offer, but also likely to increase in size.

Will Healy has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Fri, 14 Oct 2022 00:20:00 -0500 Will Healy en text/html https://www.fool.com/investing/2022/10/14/better-buy-ibm-stock-vs-2-year-treasury-note/
Killexams : IBM to Announce $20 Billion Investment in New York

IBM said Thursday that it plans to invest $20 billion across the Hudson Valley region in New York state over the next 10 years. 

The announcement coincides with a visit by President Joe Biden to the computing company’s Poughkeepsie site in the state, as the administration looks to tout industrial and technology investment in the U.S. ahead of next month’s midterm congressional elections. 

Wed, 05 Oct 2022 23:51:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.barrons.com/articles/ibm-stock-price-new-york-investment-51665055800
Killexams : Cisco vs. IBM: Which is the Better High-Yield Tech Dinosaur? No result found, try new keyword!Nonetheless, in this piece, we used TipRanks' Comparison Tool to determine which old-school tech stock — CSCO or IBM — is the better Buy, according to Wall Street estimates. Based purely on ... Mon, 03 Oct 2022 21:39:00 -0500 text/html https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/cisco-vs.-ibm:-which-is-the-better-high-yield-tech-dinosaur
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