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Volume 27, Issue 4

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Jon Seals

Network World — Tech salaries saw a nearly 3% bump last year, and IT pros with expertise in big data-related languages, databases and skills enjoyed some of the largest paychecks.

Average U.S. tech salaries climbed to $87,811 in 2013, up from $85,619 the previous year, according to Dice's newly released 2013-2014 Salary Survey. Significantly, nine of the top 10 highest paying IT salaries are for skills related to big data, says the tech career site.

At the top of the list is R, a software environment for statistical computing and graphics. Here's the full list of the top 10 highest paying IT salaries:

1. R: $115,5312. NoSQL: $114,7963. MapReduce: $114,3964. PMBok: $112,3825. Cassandra: $112,3826. Omnigraffle: $111,0397. Pig: $109,5618. Service Oriented Architecture: $108,9979. Hadoop: $108,66910. Mongo DB: $107,825

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http://www.cio.com/article/747927/Big_Data_Skills_Pay_Top_Dollar

Executives from Target and Neiman Marcus still don’t know how they could have better protected their customers from cybercriminals, they said at a congressional hearing Wednesday.

Asked exactly how recent attacks occurred, Target’s John Mulligan answered: “We don’t understand that today.’’ The company is still investigating, said Mulligan, the company’s chief financial officer and executive vice president, and “certainly from that there will be learnings.”

Michael Kingston, the chief information officer of the Neiman Marcus Group, said, “We’ve not yet found any evidence of how hackers were able to infiltrate our network.’’ The attack was “customized to evade detection’’ and occurred “in real time, when the card was swiped” just milliseconds before being encrypted. The breaches prompted several congressional hearings and briefings; last week, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee that his agency is investigating them.

Wednesday’s House hearing, “Can data breaches be prevented?,” ran 31 / 2 hours, but the short answer was: No. That’s despite the “hundreds of millions” Target spent trying, and the “tens of millions” Neiman’s spent.

...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/can-data-breaches-be-prevented-congresss-and-companies-answer-for-now-no/2014/02/05/94d607ae-8e9d-11e3-b46a-5a3d0d2130da_story.html

The Committee of Permanent Representatives has endorsed an agreement between the Hellenic Presidency of the Council and European Parliament representatives with a view to establishing a European surveillance and tracking service. This will have the aim of enhancing the security of space infrastructures and the safety of satellite operations by reducing collision risks and helping to monitor space debris.

Space infrastructure is increasingly threatened by collision risks due to the growing population of satellites and the amount of space debris. In order to mitigate the risk of collision it is necessary to identify and monitor satellites and space debris, catalogue their positions, and track their movements. When a potential risk of collision has been identified satellite operators can then be alerted in time to move their satellites.

This activity is known as space surveillance and tracking (SST) and operational SST services do not currently exist at a European level.

The new SST support framework will foster the networking of national SST assets to provide SST services for the benefit of both public and private operators of critical space-based infrastructures.

More details.

Here’s a humbling prediction for IT: By 2018, the CMO’s IT budget could “outstrip” the CIO’s budget, according to Gartner.

And that’s fine with CMOs, who now see marketing as the natural home for Big Data projects, according to a recent Harvard Business Review Blog post written by Jesko Perrey and Matt Ariker of McKinsey & Company.

Predictably enough, CIOs see the situation a bit differently. But the naked truth is that both CMOs and CIOs “are on the hook for turning all that data into above-market growth,” Perrey and Ariker note.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/integration/can-the-chief-data-officer-help-everyone-just-get-along.html

In publishing its “Security Research Cyber Risk Report 2013,” an annual update, HP has delved into a number of the most vexing contradictions in security and risk management. The report’s goal, states HP, is “to provide security information that can be used to understand the vulnerability landscape and best deploy resources to minimize security risk.”

Key findings included these:

“Research gains attention, but vulnerability disclosures stabilize and decrease in severity.” The number of publicly disclosed vulnerabilities remained stable in 2013, as the number of high-severity vulnerabilities dropped for the fourth year in a row. Asks HP, “Is this a good indication of the improving awareness of security in software development or does this indicate a more nefarious trend – the increased price of vulnerabilities on the black market for APTs resulting in less public disclosures?”

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http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/governance-and-risk/hp-report-elaborates-on-contradictions-in-security-risks.html

CIO — Last year, Yahoo made headlines for rescinding its once-liberal work-from-home policies in the interests of "productivity" and "accountability." But not having a plan in place for keeping the business running if your employees physically cannot get to the office -- in the event of a winter storm, hurricane or even day-to-day concerns like a family illness or car trouble -- could put you at a significant disadvantage.

Here's how you can prepare your workforce - and your business - for the inevitability of employees working from home.

Business As (Un)Usual

The good news is that most organizations already embrace technologies like the cloud that ease employees' capability to connect and collaborate from almost anywhere.

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http://www.cio.com/article/747867/How_to_Prepare_Your_Business_And_Your_Employees_to_Work_Remotely

CIO — How can CIOs and IT executives help their teams be more productive (besides providing them with free food)? Here are the top 11 tips -- from CIOs, IT executives, productivity and leadership experts and project managers -- for getting the most out of your IT team.

1. Set goals -- and be "Agile." "Be Agile in your goal setting," says Zubin Irani, cofounder & CEO, cPrime, a project management consulting company. "Have the team set goals for the quarter -- and break the work into smaller chunks that they can then self-assign and manage."

2. Communicate goals, expectations and roles from the get-go. "Provide your team with background information and the strategic vision behind [each] project, activity, task, etc.," says Hussein Yahfoufi vice president, Technology & Corporate Services, OneRoof Energy, a solar finance provider. "Not only does providing more background and information motivate employees more, [it makes them] feel more engaged."

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http://www.cio.com/article/747843/11_Ways_to_Improve_Your_IT_Team_s_Productivity

February 7, 2014

Translating Compliance

At a time when several large companies are being investigated for bribery in China, organizations doing business there would do well to have strong policies and training programs in place, experts advise. They also caution that using a “cookie cutter” approach for compliance is not enough.

“There are several ongoing investigations right now for hiring of relatives of foreign officials,” Michael Volkov, chief executive officer of the Volkov Law Group, LLC said in a webinar, “Navigating the Waters of Anti-Corruption Compliance in China.”

He pointed out that Qualcomm, a wireless technology company, “is under investigation for hiring relatives of foreign officials and giving them jobs strategically. This is a serious investigation, and Qualcomm is a reputable company with a sophisticated compliance program.”

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http://www.riskmanagementmonitor.com/translating-compliance/

CIO — All readers have their share of successful and failed software projects. Everyone has a favorite war story. But for software project managers, either in a company or in a consulting organization, there's surprisingly little up-to-date information about what causes budget overruns and schedule slips.

Of course, management consultants worth their name will claim that their methodology will fix the problem — and they'll almost certainly have a two-dimensional graph showing how their expertise will take your organization up and to the right. Reductio ad Gartner Group.

Things aren't that simple. The Standish Group's Chaos Reports — a sort of CSI for IT murders — provide solid evidence that the success of software projects depends upon dozens of factors.

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http://www.cio.com/article/747788/23_Signs_Your_Cloud_Project_May_Be_in_Trouble

Network World — The growing number of natural disasters and the rise in data loss has increased the significance of having an effective disaster recovery (DR) strategy. Thankfully new capabilities are helping smaller companies keep pace.  Here's a look at the prominent trends shaping disaster recovery today:

* Cloud Services: As the adoption of cloud services increases, enterprises are realizing the cloud can become part of their disaster recovery plan. Instead of buying dedicated resources in case of a disaster, cloud computing allows companies to pay for long-term data storage on a pay-per-use basis, and to only pay for servers if they have a need to run them for an actual disaster or test.

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http://www.cio.com/article/747840/Disaster_Recovery_Options_for_Smaller_Companies