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Winter Journal

Volume 29, Issue 1

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Jon Seals

Monday, 01 February 2016 00:00

Mobile Fraud: Are We Winning the Wrong War?

The First in a Series of Commentaries on the Findings of the Communications Fraud Control Association's 2015 Study Examines the Issue of 'Unknown Unknown' Fraud Types

SAN MATEO, Calif. – Dr. Ian Howells, Chief Marketing Officer of Argyle Data, the leader in native Hadoop applications for revenue threat analytics in mobile communications, has released the first in a series of articles analyzing the results of the 2015 Global Fraud Loss Survey published by the Communications Fraud Control Association (CFCA). In particular, Howells examines how the overall cost of fraud could appear to have decreased even though most of those on the front lines in the fight against fraud believe that losses are actually on the rise.

"In comparison with the CFCA's 2013 report, the overall reported cost of fraud was reported as down from US$46 billion in 2013 to $38 billion in 2015. This is a very surprising result considering that the survey respondents also overwhelmingly felt that fraud was on the increase," Dr Howells commented.

Responses to the survey question asking whether respondents believed that, over the past 12 months, global fraud losses had trended up, trended down, or stayed the same, produced the following results:

  • Trended up - 55.6%
  • No change - 33.3%
  • Trended down - 11.1%

Results for the question, "Over the past 12 months, has fraud in your company trended up, trended down, or stayed the same?" were as follows:

  • Trended up - 50.0%
  • No change - 23.7%
  • Trended down - 26.3%

In summary, 88.9% thought that fraud had either gone up or stayed the same globally and 73.7% thought that fraud had either gone up or stayed the same within their company -- even though the reported total cost of fraud was shown to have reduced by $8 billion over the past two years.

Writing in Fraud and Technology Wire on the topic, Howells said, "I have often quoted Donald Rumsfeld to highlight the current state of fraud detection: 'There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know'."

When you break this down in terms of mobile communications fraud it translates as:

  • The known knowns - Known fraud attack techniques
  • The known unknowns - Fraud that we suspect but can't codify with rules
  • The unknown unknowns - Fraud that we don't know about/are not looking for

"The logical conclusion I came to was that we are getting better at detecting known fraud attack techniques, and that is why the numbers have gone down," said Howells. "The other part of the logical conclusion is that sophisticated criminals are getting much better at the known unknowns and unknown unknowns, which is why fraud specialists feel that fraud is going up when the cost seems to be going down. The visible bucket of fraud is reducing whereas the invisible bucket is increasing."

Howells believes that we are at a turning point in fraud and revenue threat analytics:

  • Known fraud attack techniques (the known knowns) are reducing.
  • Fraud that we suspect but can't codify with rules (the known unknowns) is a growth area.
  • Fraud that we don't know about/are not looking for (the unknown unknowns) is a growth area.

"Sophisticated criminals are focusing on the growth areas as they have a cloak of invisibility," said Howells. "The question I have is this: Are we winning the wrong battle on fraud? The world is moving to the use of big data and machine learning -- and that also includes organized crime rings and governments using sophisticated attack patterns."

The next phase in the battle against fraud will be for mobile operators to fight back in an equally sophisticated way:

  • Use existing rules and rules-based systems to identify known fraud attack techniques (the known knowns).
  • Use machine learning to identify fraud that we suspect but can't codify with rules (the known unknowns).
  • Use machine learning to identify fraud that we don't know about/are not looking for (the unknown unknowns).

In summary, the new mantra for defending subscribers and networks will be to use machine learning against vast data lakes to discover the known unknowns and unknown unknowns. Only then will mobile operators see a true reduction in the real cost of fraud.

Argyle Data will exhibit at the Cloudera booth at Mobile World Congress (Stand 6M30, Hall 6).  Visitors to the booth will receive a free copy of Argyle Data's book, Fighting Future Fraud: A Strategy for Using Big Data, Machine Learning, and Data Lakes to Fight Mobile Fraud. 

About Argyle Data
Argyle Data is used by the world's leading mobile operators to detect the fraud, profit, and SLA threats that cost the industry $38 billion dollars per year. Argyle Data's industry-leading native Hadoop application suite uses the latest Hadoop and machine learning technologies, proven at Facebook and Google, to identify the revenue threats and attack patterns being waged against mobile networks in real time. To learn more please visit:
Argyle Data Website
Fraud & Technology Wire

For the EMEA Market, a Simple Drop-In Appliance Conducts Large-Scale Data Migrations

NEW YORK – Cirrus Data Solutions, a provider of data migration appliances that reduce costs and complexity to migrate Fibre Channel based storage (SANs), today announced a partnership with Computacenter UK Ltd, Europe's leading independent provider of IT infrastructure services. The partnership empowers enterprises throughout EMEA the opportunity to conduct large-scale data center migrations with zero downtime and no infrastructure changes.

Cirrus is the developer of Data Migration Server (DMS), proprietary software that supports all types of data migration schemes including: local storage refresh and local to remote (data center moves), legacy to cloud (physical to virtual), cloud to cloud, cloud to data center, and other common storage management practices.

"Until now, the cost to business of bringing a system down to conduct a large scale data migration could often prove prohibitive," said Bill McGloin, chief technologist, Computacenter UK Ltd. "By partnering with Cirrus, we can continue to help our customers through their digital transformation by offering migration services that provide cost-effective, resilient and scalable infrastructures, with no interruption of services and no changes to existing host servers, FC switches, and storage."

"Data migration continues to be a major pain for organisations that have outgrown their storage infrastructure needs," says Guillaume Imberti, Cirrus Data VP, EMEA. "Lack of flexible storage options severely limits a company's ability to grow and mine its data for applications, research and profits. Computacenter has been providing IT infrastructure services for nearly 35 years, so we are especially honored to partner with Computacenter to bring true plug-and-play technology to the EMEA marketplace."

Data Migration Server is based upon proprietary technology called "Transparent Datapath Intercept" which was built on the notion that data appliances should look like a wire when installed into a live SAN. Because of this intercept, the Cirrus server can be installed in-line between the switch and the storage unit with as much ease as changing a Fibre Channel cable. The install takes five seconds per path. 

About Computacenter Plc
 Computacenter is Europe's leading independent provider of IT infrastructure services, enabling users and their business. We advise organisations on IT strategy, implement the most appropriate technology, optimise its performance, and manage our customers' infrastructures. In doing this we help CIOs and IT departments in enterprise and corporate organisations maximise productivity and the business value of IT for internal and external users. Rooted in core European countries Computacenter combines global reach with local expertise. For more information visit http://www.computacenter.com.

About Cirrus Data Solutions Inc.
Headquartered in Long Island, New York, Cirrus Data Solutions is a developer of software for data migrations and caching for enterprise data centers and storage area networks (SANs). Its software appliances are sold/licensed through a network of systems integrators and channel partners including Cognizant, Dell, Fujitsu, IBM and Datalink. The team holds 18 patents, with the most recent one being granted by the US PTO on August 2012 (# 8,255,538) for Transparent Datapath Intercept. For more information visit http://www.cdsi.us.com/ or email info@cdsi.us.com.

AIS's Open Platform, Industrial PCs and HMI Panels Are Designed in Compliance With Internet Protocol Suite to Connect to ISA-95 Level 2 Enterprise Control, SCADA, DCS and Batch Automation Systems

IRVINE, Calif. – American Industrial Systems, Inc. (AIS), an innovator and the leader of Human Machine Interface (HMI) Panels, Operator Interface Terminals, Industrial PCs, and Industrial Thin Clients, announces their Modular, Smart HMI PC Systems for Industrial IoT and Industry 4.0 applications have been tested and comply with Internet Protocol Suite and ISA-95 International Standards required by manufacturers in many process automation industries. The open architecture design of their intelligent HMI series, Premium and Standard PC-based HMIs, make them ideally suited for MES, EMI Software and Service Applications. The Smart series of HMIs from AIS tout a combination of features for the new era of the Industrial Internet of things (IIoT), including open platform design, modularity, high processing power, future expandability, removable storage and connectivity options.

Providing Improved Operations Visibility and Facilitating Real-Time Decision Making for MES and EMI Systems with AIS's Smart Premium & Standard Series HMIs

Global Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and Enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI) are rapidly growing in manufacturing software and service market. Manufacturing enterprises embrace AIS's Smart HMIs for these applications because it gives them the ability to respond to the dynamic environment of their organizations by analyzing historic data and real time information on the shop floor, which increases the overall flexibility and improves efficiency of the enterprises.

In response to this trend in manufacturing, AIS has engineered their Premium and Standard Series intelligent, Industrial PCs and HMI Panels. Engineered to support MES and EMI software requirements, their multi-touch screen monitors and touch panels are available in a full range of sizes that can display real-time plant status visibility, dashboards, trending and data analysis, downtime and efficiency management, statistical process analysis and control. This mission critical data and information is important for manufacturing companies to improve visibility in their operations and help real-time decision-making from the plant floor to the office.

Design Compliance Makes AIS's Open Platform Industrial PCs the Easy Choice for Integration into SCADA, DCS and Batch Automation Systems & Operations

The ANSI/ISA-95, or ISA-95 specification is an international standard, established by the International Society of Automation for developing an automated interface between enterprise and control systems for global manufacturers in process industries involved with batch processes, continuous and repetitive processes. Complying to these international standards, including Internet Protocol Suite which provides end-to-end connectivity specifying how data should be packetized, addressed, transmitted and received at the destination, makes AIS Industrial Smart Panels and PCs an easy choice for manufacturing companies in process industries and markets.

AIS's Industrial IoT HMIs Help Companies Connect, Share and Transport Data Faster and More Efficiently Throughout Networks with Processing Power, Memory and Advanced Features

AIS's Premium and Standard Series HMI Touch Panel PCs meet the ever growing demand for system interoperability, improved security, and manageability by supplying advanced HMI gateway capabilities and performance. Intelligent, IoT systems storage and memory requirements are increasing greatly to accommodate the massive amounts of data sets generated by I/O sensors for smart city and industrial applications. IoT applications are getting more and more complicated due to the need for smarter, faster and more accurate intelligent systems. Powered by Intel® Core™ i7-4650U processors (4m Cache, up to 3.30 GHz) along with removable and expandable storage and a host of connectivity features, AIS's Premium Series Industrial PCs are up to the tasks of complex processing challenges in Level 2 Enterprise Control, SCADA, DCS and Batch Automation Systems. The Standard Series of AIS HMI is equipped with an Intel® Atom™ Processor E3845 (4 Cores, 2M Cache, 1.91 GHz) and is an energy efficient, cost alternative for MES, EMI, SCADA and DCS applications.

The next generation of Smart HMIs including the Premium and Standard Line, are available in displays with both analog resistive single-touch and (PCT/PCAP) projected capacitive multi-touch, ranging from 12" to 24" screen sizes. AIS Modular HMI Panels are rugged and certified (UL/cUL/CB 61010 and 62368) for automation, information and communication applications while providing maintenance-free service for harsh and/or standard industrial environments.

About AIS

Headquartered in Irvine, California, USA, American Industrial Systems, Inc. (AIS) offers in-house electronic and mechanical design, software development, manufacturing, production and quality control services. Offering one of the widest ranges of industrial computing solutions, AIS open platform control and monitoring solutions are available in a multitude of configurations for industrial, building automation, food & beverage, oil & gas, military and marine applications. The company's HMI solutions are key enabling technologies for the Internet of Things (IoT), Industrial Internet of Things, (IIoT), Machine-to-Machine Communications (M2M) and Industry 4.0 applications. AIS is fully committed to empowering, improving and delivering turnkey HMI, control, monitoring and display solutions for OEM, ODM and end-user customers. AIS is an ISO 9001:2008 certified supplier and manufacturer of rugged computers and displays, and received completion of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) registration from the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC). For more information, visit: www.aispro.com, email: sales@aispro.com or contact: 1-888-485-6688.

Image Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2016/1/28/11G080699/Images/Modular_HMI_Panels_and_Industrial_PCs-6abe3ab8994e9e5bbaf637d89f1b36e6.jpg

For some organizations, conducting regular disaster preparedness exercises comes with the territory.  If you work with chemicals, in a manufacturing facility, or in an industry where your main function is to protect people and property, you’re probably well-versed in why preparation matters.  For many organizations, however, the potential dangers are not as obvious and safety exercises are relegated to the mandatory annual fire drill.  This approach may be setting your organization and your people up for real trouble. 

Why you should be doing more disaster preparedness exercises:



This month, we focus on data center design. We’ll look into design best practices, examine in depth some of the most interesting recent design trends, explore new ideas, and talk with leading data center design experts.


After years of designing data centers for customers around Europe, Theo Arendzen and his colleagues realized that no matter how much customization a customer wanted, the fundamental data center design elements just didn’t vary that much from one facility to another.

“Most of the topology is based on the same design principles,” he says. “You always come to a more or less standardized solution.”

Until about six years ago, ICTroom, the Netherlands-based company where Arendzen oversees engineering and design, built data centers within existing buildings. But when it started receiving its first orders for greenfield developments, the engineers started working on the idea of standardization and modularity.



For many years, OHSA regulations continue to assisted organizations worldwide in recognizing the need to control and improve health and safety performance for their workers.

Often that objective has been achieved by incorporating and implementing so called occupational health and safety management systems (OHSMS).

Very soon the final ISO 45001 standard will assist that process.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – After the severe storms and flooding that occurred in Missouri between December 23, 2015 and January 9, 2016, residents in the 33 declared counties became eligible for federal assistance. People who suffered losses and damage in the wake of the disaster are urged to seek help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The eligible counties are Barry, Barton, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Cole, Crawford, Franklin, Gasconade, Greene, Hickory, Jasper, Jefferson, Laclede, Lawrence, Lincoln, Maries, McDonald, Morgan, Newton, Osage, Phelps, Polk, Pulaski, Scott, St. Charles, St. Francois, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Stone, Taney, Texas, Webster and Wright.

There are many misconceptions about getting help from FEMA. Often, people who would qualify for assistance miss out on assistance because they don’t have access to correct information.

Commonly asked questions about disaster aid from FEMA:

Q: Who should apply for federal disaster assistance?
A: Missouri homeowners and renters in disaster-designated counties who sustained damage to their homes, vehicles or personal property as a result of the severe storms and flooding from December 23, 2015 through January 9, 2016 can apply for FEMA grants.

Q: How do I apply?
A: Residents who were affected can apply for assistance online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.  Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services can call 800-621-3362. The application deadline is March 21.

Q: What kinds of FEMA grants are available?
A: Disaster assistance may include grants to help pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs, uninsured and underinsured personal property losses and medical, dental and funeral expenses caused by the disaster, along with other serious disaster-related expenses.

Q: What happens after I register?
A: You will receive a phone call from a FEMA inspector to arrange for a survey of the damages. This will come just days after you register. All FEMA inspectors will have official identification. They do not approve or deny claims or requests; those come after the inspection results are submitted. FEMA inspectors do not ask for money and do not recommend contractors to make repairs.

Q.  I’ve already cleaned up and made repairs to my property.  Am I still eligible to register with FEMA?
A.  Yes. You may be eligible for reimbursement of your clean-up and repair expenses. Before and after photos of the damaged property can help expedite your application for assistance.

Q: Does my income need to be under a certain dollar amount to qualify for disaster aid?
A: FEMA’s Housing Assistance program is available, regardless of income, to anyone who suffered damages or losses in disaster-declared counties. However, aid for other losses such as personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses is income-dependent and officials make decisions on a case-by-case basis. To be considered for a grant for these types of losses, the applicant must complete an application for an SBA loan.  

Q.  I have flood insurance.  Should I still register with FEMA?
A.  Yes.  But please contact your insurance company first.

Q: Does the Small Business Administration (SBA) offer loans to homeowners and renters?
A: Yes. The SBA is the primary source of financial assistance following a disaster and provides low-interest disaster loans to homeowners and renters.

Q: Do I have to be turned down by my bank before I can apply for a disaster loan?
A: No. The SBA has its own criteria for determining each loan applicant’s eligibility.

Q: If I rent an apartment, can I get help to replace my damaged personal property?
A: Yes. Renters may qualify for a FEMA grant. Renters may also qualify for SBA disaster loans.

Q: Will FEMA pay for all home repairs or contract work?
A: No. FEMA does not pay to return your home to its pre-disaster condition. FEMA provides grants to qualified homeowners to repair damage not covered by insurance, but these grants may not pay for all the damage. However, an SBA disaster loan may return a home to its pre-disaster condition.

Q: Do I have to repay money I receive for disaster relief?
A: No. You do not have to repay grant money, however SBA disaster loans must be repaid.

Q: Do I have to be a legal U.S. resident to receive Individual Assistance?
No. If you have a child living at home who is a U.S. citizen or a qualified alien, you may apply for Individual Assistance on that child’s behalf and you may be eligible to receive Individual Assistance. FEMA may provide undocumented, eligible immigrants with short-term, non-cash emergency aid.

Q: How can I check the status of my case?
A: You may go online to www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call the toll-free FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (FEMA) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. If you need face-to-face assistance, visit a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) or speak with someone from one of FEMA’s Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) teams currently going door-to-door in Missouri’s disaster-declared counties. All DRCs are accessible and equipped with tools to accommodate disaster survivors who need disability related communication aids.


Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.  If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/femaregion7.

The SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or visiting SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.

State/Tribal Government or Region: 

Over the last few years, the most important buzzword for MSPs has been “cloud.” However, if you asked 10 vendors what the cloud is, you may get 10 different answers. Many SMBs are super-confused about what the cloud means and how it can help them. In fact, in many cases they “only know it when they see it.” Providing practical solutions using cloud technologies is the best way to help your customers overcome some of the inherent fear of putting their technology in the cloud.

Before we try to help define what makes a service cloudy, we need to acknowledge that there is a huge opportunity for those MSPs who are getting involved. Both the types of services coming to the market and the number of users for these services are growing at a rapid rate. In particular, we at Acronis have seen a massive shift in customer behavior when offering cloud backup and cloud disaster recovery services. No longer are SMBs happy to backup only to a tape drive for offsite storage when they can get a service, more cheaply, in the cloud.



From snow and rain on the East Coast and across the Central Plains to the wild El Niño weather patterns out West, people all over the United States are bracing for what could be a tough winter. For businesses, especially, the winter months can be difficult. Hazardous road conditions make it hard to get to and from work, snow and ice can damage power lines and bring down technology infrastructure, and cold weather can lead to burst pipes and flooding, causing businesses to close for indefinite periods of time.

For MSPs or IT solution providers, now is a great time to check in with your customers and prospects in winter storm-prone areas. Start by asking them if they have any specific concerns about how the weather will affect their operations, and answer any questions that they may have. Be sure to let them know that you’re watching their backups closely and tracking all winter storm warnings. Having this conversation emphasizes the value you are bringing to the table. 

Hopefully, your customers have business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plans in place. If they don’t, one of the areas where you can add strategic value, build recurring revenue streams, and drive profitability is by helping them put processes in place that safeguard their critical business data and infrastructure from winter storms. The same goes for prospects. When timed well, BCDR is a great “in” for new and incremental business.



The rate of change is accelerating in IT. The need to provide your enterprise with a competitive advantage and to leverage new technologies is driving the need for rapid change and constant improvement. IT organizations must deliver new business services consisting of new and enhanced applications faster while ensuring SLAs. This environment of frequent and rapid change is what analysts refer to as Mode 2. It requires adopting business practices where development and IT operations work more closely together and more processes are automated. These forces are driving the growing requirement for DevOps and composable infrastructure.

After watching the videos and reading the press reports from the recent HPE Synergy announcement, you’d think that transitioning to a DevOps and implementing composable infrastructure just requires purchasing the new hardware and launching HPE OneView. Some good marketing, but DevOps is a methodology, not a system. It is an ongoing journey of continuous improvement as well as continuous delivery. Adapting to a faster rate of change requires enhancing processes, better communication and tighter integration of tools as well as some new technology.

You can embrace the speed of change while minimizing the disruption and risk. We’ve developed a new brief that explains how you can make the transition to DevOps and composable infrastructure easier using your existing UCS systems, UCS management software and operations management tools.