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Get Ready to Unpack for Airport Security

Arlington, Va.

Changes are coming to airport security checkpoints: TSA wants you to declutter your bags.

New procedures, such as requiring all food or all electronics larger than cellphones be placed in bins separately, are still being tested. Changes haven’t yet been finalized, but senior Transportation Security Administration…

Security as a Service? We want it, say IT leaders

Until recently, security was cloud’s Achilles Heel. Now, many are turning to the cloud itself to provide needed security.

Security As A Service? We Want It, Say IT Leaders Photo: Joe McKendrick

That’s one of the takeaways of a recent survey[1] of 401 IT professionals, released by Insight, a technology services provider. Overall, the survey shows, IT professionals graded their current IT infrastructure an average of “B,” a modest uptick from a “B minus” in 2016. Cloud computing has, for all intents and purposes, simply become “computing.”

The survey finds Software as a Service (57 percent) and Security as a Service (51 percent) rank as the leading cloud computing models that companies are adopting, followed by Infrastructure as a Service (39 percent) and Disaster Recovery as a Service (34 percent). The survey also finds enterprises are embracing the Internet of Things. Almost half of respondents report they are embedding IoT into their technology strategies around consumer engagement. Security (55 percent) and the cloud (44 percent) as the top two areas in which tech decision-makers stated that their IT budgets need to grow. Close to two-thirds report data security is paramount when it comes to investing in cloud services, suggesting the question of the cloud’s safety is a pressing one for many IT personnel

For many organizations, cloud adoption also can be messy affairs. More than three out of 10 report data availability concerns in a cloud environment, and one-third of respondents worry that implementation of cloud services is too disruptive to their organizations.

Most technology decision makers (84 percent) say their organizations invested in cloud services over the past year. For most, it’s a mixed, hybrid approach reflecting a gradual evolution. While only 15 percent have fully migrated their corporate application workloads to public clouds, 47 percent are more than halfway implemented in the cloud, with large and medium companies leading the way. A majority are also seeing benefits from their cloud efforts. Sixty-one percent report a more flexible and collaborative IT environment. Interestingly, 59 percent also report they have a safer data environment as a result of moving to cloud. Additional benefits seen include better remote access (55 percent), improved support from providers (48 percent), faster speed to market (36 percent), and a reduction in capital expenditure fees (35 percent).

That last item on the list is worth noting — cost savings is the lowest-ranked benefit seen from cloud. Ironically, cost savings is usually the top business case made for moving to cloud, and survey after survey shows this as the leading reason. But as things get underway, businesses begin to realize less-tangible, but harder-hitting benefits such as flexibility and security. Technology influencers identify security (55 percent) and the cloud (44 percent) as the top two areas in which their IT budgets need to grow. Marketing (33 percent), sales (33 percent), and mobile (30 percent) comprise the second tier for desired budget growth. While IT leaders are generally satisfied with the state of their infrastructures, they still face challenges when it comes to optimization, with upgrading existing hardware and software as the biggest pain point (53 percent), followed by application integration (38 percent) mobile device integration (34 percent), and better visibility into traffic patterns and data management (32 percent).

In fact, 63% of IT personnel say their companies have begun to adopt a “bimodal” IT approach,where one group focuses on predictability and operations, and another group focuses on innovation. IT as a profession is getting closer to the customer action.

It’s interesting to follow the money in measuring bimodal IT stances. Organizations plan to align 37% of their 2017 IT budgets to maintenance of existing equipment and 32% to adoption of new technologies.

Follow daily IT routines as well to gauge bimodal IT adoption. Nearly half of today’s IT professionals are concentrating on the customer: 49% are concerned with improving the customer experience, and 38% are focused on more consistent customer engagement. Not only are today’s IT professionals tasked with operations inside the organization, but they are now expected to address customer needs as well.At the same time, more than three out of 10 report that ongoing maintenance and support “is their biggest pain point.”


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Former FBI Director Comey to testify before Senate intel committee

It says the president then told Russia’s foreign minister and ambassador that he “faced great pressure because of Russian Federation”. Trump was leaving for his first foreign trip, visiting Saudi Arabia, Israel, Vatican, and a pair of summits in Brussels and Sicily. Mueller’s former law firm, WilmerHale, represents[1] Kushner – who has been in the spotlight over the president’s decision to fire James Comey from the FBI and for meeting with Russian officials – and Manafort, who is now under federal investigation. If the White House couldn’t get Mueller removed, they’d use the rule to cast doubt on his impartiality, according to Reuters:”Under this strategy, the sources said the administration would raise the issue in press conferences and public statements”, Julia Edwards Ainsley reported[2].

While the White House initially pointed to a memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, outlining Comey’s mismanagement of the investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s private email server, as the impetus for his termination, Trump later admitted that the Russian Federation investigation, which the president has called a “hoax”, played a role. Trump has denied[3] any collusion. Trump’s first national-security adviser, Michael Flynn, was sacked over misstatements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador. The White House was rocked by a further revelation Friday, when reports[4] emerged that Trump said his sacking of FBI director James Comey has relieved “great pressure” on him caused by the Russian Federation investigation. Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings called Trump’s reported comment “astonishing and extremely troubling”.

The committee’s chairman, Senator Richard Burr, and the ranking Democrat, Senator Mark Warner, announced that Comey will testify in an open setting before the committee.

Wenger’s future at Arsenal will be decided after FA Cup final[5]
A win for Arsenal would put huge pressure on Liverpool . “And I was delighted to see so many of them not turn up the other day”. Liverpool host already-relegated Middlesbrough and Manchester City travel to Watford who languish 16th in the standings. Cummings said the committee’s GOP chairman, Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, “should … have his subpoena pen ready” to obtain any White House documents related to Trump’s meeting with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador. But the president undercut that argument a day later, telling NBC News, “When I chose to just do it, I said to myself – I said, you know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made-up story”. The FBI’s investigation has bedeviled the Trump administration, and the president personally. The date of the hearing has not yet been set.

The conversation reinforces the notion that the president dismissed Comey primarily because of the FBI’s inquiry into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russian operatives. Comey will certainly be asked about encounters that precipitated his firing, including a January dinner in which, Comey has told associates, Trump asked for his loyalty. Trump added, “I’m not under investigation”.

Comey is known to produce memos documenting especially sensitive or unsettling encounters, such as after the February meeting.

Burr said on Friday the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director would testify in an open setting before the committee which wanted to know from Comey about his role in the assessment Russian Federation interfered in last year’s election and his response to questions that have arisen since his dismissal.


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