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Alexis Crowell, IOT Marketing Global Lead, Data Platforms Group, Intel



I caught up with with Alexis Crowell, IOT Marketing Global Lead for Data Platforms Group at Intel Corporation, to talk about the latest news, trends, insights and offerings from Intel in the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and Edge market sectors globally.

Our conversation kicks off with Alexis sharing some fun anecdotes and insights into her early life, her academic and working career path, and how she came to be with Intel and her amazing role.

Alexis then gives us an amazing 30,000 foot view outline of what Intel is seeing regarding current macro trends around AI at the Edge, with some of the current macro trends regarding AI at the Edge.

In particular we delve into some of the challenges Alexis sees as being the next frontier of enterprise transformation, how Data-driven experiences – AI from data centers, to software, to outer edges of the networks, and how Data and compute closest to the point of interaction will transform data driven decision making, and some of the challenges around bridging people, business and things for enhanced experiences, and what it takes to offer improved automation and cost savings.

We then delve into work Intel are doing currently and Alexis offers us a view of some of the trends across various markets regarding adoption, challenges and opportunities with AI at the Edge. Specifically we discuss enterprise adoption and the need for Edge Computing, the need for actionable insights.

We also discuss challenges presented by issues such as network bottlenecks, latency, and the mounting issues raised by increasing demand for bandwidth and ever increasing network demands as devices continue to generate increasingly vast volumes of data, increasing needs for full end-to-end infrastructure and designs, comprehensive security, data regulation, and overall cohesive management of all of these environments and systems / networks / platforms and more.

Alexis walks us through Intel’s customer approach as far as how organisations should go about turning data into actionable insights, some of the challenges around turning data into action, how Intel’s Gen 3 Intel Movidius VPUs and Intel Scalable Processor platforms are helping with these challenges – where solutions like OpenVINO are helping. We also discuss the latest news around Intel AI Builders, and Intel Selection Solutions for AI, about Federated Learning, and Alexis shares a recent related customer story around GE Healthcare and work they are doing with medical data, imaging and analytics to process data from MRI machines, and where Deep Learning is playing part in this success story.

We wrap up with Alexis sharing her thoughts and advice around what decision makers be considering in their approach to leveraging “AI at the Edge” over the next 12 to 18 months.

Tune in now for all of these amazing topics and more.

This podcast was made in partnership with Intel.

For more information please visit:

– Intel IoT Solutions web portal:
– Intel Xeon® Scalable processors:
– Intel Atom® P processors:
– 5G Technology Overview:

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Business Continuity

Skills shortage puts SAP projects on hold



Business demand creates double whammy on recruitment pressure

Skills-related issues have hit a quarter of SAP users, in some cases putting projects on hold, according to a survey of companies in the Americas.

Research released by the Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG) shows that 26 per cent of organisations see skills in supporting, developing, and upgrading SAP systems as their number one challenge in working with the technology.

A quarter of users loyal to the German vendor said skills problems were holding up projects.

Geoff Scott, ASUG CEO, told a webinar last week that the combination of skills shortages in businesses and their technology teams created a vicious cycle of driving the demand for new tools and technologies.

“Business functions come and say, ‘Hey, I need to have all these things done.’ And technology teams say, ‘Well, I don’t have the same skills I used to have.’ And I think it creates a major disruption inside many of our member companies,” he said.

Skills were also a major issue for SAP users looking either to migrate to or support S/4HANA, the latest version of the tech giant’s ERP software based on an in-memory database.

“We are going to feel the pinch of that skill gap. My word of caution is that as you think about moving to S/4 if you have not already, the ability for you to plan that migration may hit some turbulence related to skill gaps with your external partners. That’s something that you absolutely positively should consider,” he said.

While technology issues were the greatest concern in the research overall, broken down, only integration problems were more cited than staff turnover and maintaining knowledgeable staff.

Of those with integration problems, 28 per cent said they were causing data errors to spread, 17 per cent said they were affecting the compatibility between SAP and other applications, and 17 per cent said it meant they were unable to keep up with new technologies.

One respondent said: “Changes made in SAP and Salesforce that do not get reflected in the other system are causing data inconsistencies.”

Overall, the majority of SAP users were increasing their spending on the technology. Fifty-two per cent said they were increasing spending, up from 46 per cent last year.

However, the proportion of users saying they were cutting spending on SAP also rose from 5 per cent last year to 8 per cent in 2022. The number of organisations making the same level of investment fell, according to the ASUG research.

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In Conversation With Val Bercovici, Founder & CEO, Chainkit



I had the delight of talking to Val Bercovici, the founder & CEO at Chainkit, a Software-as-a-Service company that assembles cyber security solutions with a corporate assignment to eradicate sightless holes in cyber security and data privacy.

Today, we discuss Chainkit & Data Protection, what is chain of custody, and Blockchains – cases CXOs are far-fetched to have ever encountered in their careers while currently having no option.

#1 – Ransomware incidents and Cyberattacks are constantly increasing

We discuss what is ransomware cyber attack and how these incidents have been increasing significantly. We started with Val presenting his take on the present state of what seems to be a swell of new challenges in cybersecurity incidents and subsequent ransomware incidents, specifically focused on the healthcare industry, which was specified to transpire because the world is haggling with a global pandemic, cybercriminals are never lagging to take the edge of prospect where chinks in the armour emerge in any place they can witness a route to profit from any security vulnerability.

#2 – The massive impact of COVID19 and life before and after 2022

COVID19 has had a tremendous impact but didn’t this problem exist before 2022, so extensively so that I don’t believe anyone would contend that the effect the global pandemic has had is past influential concerning the growth in data security & cybersecurity, be it the evolution to Work From Home for multiple, or the augmented shift to Mobile technology in the likes of infirmaries, retail, and service sectors as a whole. Additionally, cybersecurity threat and ransomware have been around for decades, irrespective of the hazards and impacts around this space. In Val’s perspective, we confer how the existing state of the globe has altered the geography of data security and digital threat and what you witness as you spend time with communities faced with the requirement to respond.

#3 – Are we on the verge now where technology lives to decode this problem

Cybersecurity threats in healthcare, cyberattack, ransomware, data risk and data security aren’t new issues, nor are they new threats. However, they have noticed significant gains due to our pivot to communities being Data-Driven. We reside in an immensely Always On, Always Affiliated world – so the tremendous growth in risks linked to the tremendous growth of the attack surface should come as no lure to anyone, but the query I keep earning in boardrooms is “is there a solution to this, does the technology exist to solve it?” – I question Val to probe into this, we split this into two subparts.

We begin with the first half, and I request Val for his riff on this, i.e., should it be interpreted as snare when it comes to increasing cyber incidents to any bonafide business or tech expert. 

And to the subsequent part, I question Val if the technology exists today to handle and decode the issues of clamping & safeguarding data and, in the subject of prosperous hacks, hold the chain of custody in cyber security, as it’s anointed, to be able to chase and delineate the trespasser.

We again wrap up with little crystal orb goggling, as alliances are now enclosing to steer their way out of 2021 and mitigate into 2022 as we make it through the long and immensely challenging year, safely getting it through the auspicious Christian holiday term Christmas and unexplored waters.

After that, I invited Val to share his view and suggestion around how communities should equip themselves to manage the near future as they scrutinize to improvise business & technology approaches & subsidizing plans for the next 12 to 18 months?

To listen to our detailed conversation, make sure you tune in and enjoy a significant fireside conversation with one of the most ingenious thinkers in cyber security. Certainly, one of the greatest influences in thought administration in the war against cybercrime.

This podcast was made in partnership with Chainkit.

For more information please visit:

Chainkit website:

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Cyber Security

No systems are 100% secure. State actors & crackers hack almost everything



Ten big issues – 10: No systems are 100% secure. State actors and crackers can hack almost everything. The most effective safeguard is to adopt some form of autonomous Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) for dynamic protection.

In the AI-powered arms race identified in Issue 5, intelligent automation of threat prevention is seen as not only necessary, but also inevitable. At the same time the pan-EEA digital equivalence driven by the Digital Single Market is adding further momentum to the move to international public cloud services. Consequently, Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs) have become essential tools for organizations seeking to ensure adequate data protection in the cloud. CASBs provide critical capabilities such as governing access and activities in sanctioned and unsanctioned cloud services, securing sensitive data and preventing its loss, and protecting against internal and external threats.

CASBs can be used to govern usage: for example, governing access to Office 365 and other cloud services or monitoring privileged accounts and prevent unauthorized activity in IaaS instances. CASBs can also protect against password or email abuse, while also monitoring and controlling users’ activities when they remotely access cloud services.

Intelligent or autonomous CASBs can also provide real-time, activity- or data-level policy enforcement and protection from data exfiltration while detecting anomalies in data usage or access.

Research by Oracle CASB Threat Labs has warned of attacks from Russia-based IP addresses that were actively attempting to penetrate US-based infrastructure, including devices attached to personal networks, such as home routers. A common tactic in many types of attacks is to execute “low volume” (few transactions) and “low velocity” (few targets) transactions that can be difficult to detect in highly-active cloud services. When such attacks are propagated by nation states, they can be harder to identify and defend against. This is an area where machine learning, and artificial intelligence can help significantly. Indeed, an intelligent Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) recently helped detect and notify customer teams about one such attack.

F5 Networks reported an increase in cyber-attacks on Singapore-based resources from June 11-12, 2018 while the visiting US President met with the leader of North Korea. This insight motivated F5 Networks to focus on future travel by the US President for increases in cyber-attacks leading up to and during his state visits. On July 19, 2018, F5 Networks published an article regarding information security attacks on Finnish resources before and during the summit between the US and Russian Presidents. While the majority of the attacks reported by F5 Networks were “brute force” attacks targeting IoT devices, other unknown entities attempted to breach credentials and compromise resources across cloud environments used by Finland-based organizations.

Oracle’s CASB is actively engaged in monitoring cloud services employed by some Finland-based organizations and like F5, it has identified significant increases in anomalous activities over this period of time. One global CASB customer, with a Finland-based HQ, was alerted to threats to user accounts in one of its primary cloud services by attackers attempting to replay user authentication tokens. These low volume token replay attempts from suspicious IP addresses alerted us to perform further research that revealed similar attempts from locations without an associated IP reputation.

There’s another threat to data security and it stems from the GDPR itself. State level actors cannot be expected to play by rules and can easily exploit loopholes or compliance requirements that can potentially weaken cloud security. The same right to be forgotten which imperils blockchain users also requires individual review of data which exposes enterprises to insider threat, social engineering and exploit hacks through human error such as incomplete updates or incomplete erasures which can leave both passwords and backdoors exposed.

Article 17 of the GDPR gives individuals the right to ask for their data to be deleted and organisations do have an obligation to do so, except in the following cases:

  • the personal data your company/organisation holds is needed to exercise the right of freedom of expression;
  • there is a legal obligation to keep that data;
  • for reasons of public interest (for example public health, scientific, statistical or historical research purposes).

With regard to the right to be forgotten online, organisations are expected to take reasonable steps (for example technical measures) to inform other websites that a particular individual has requested the erasure of their personal data. Data can also be kept if it has undergone an appropriate process of anonymisation.

If someone already has legitimate credentials, many identity management controls will not prevent that user from taking action, whether malicious or benign. A CASB with built-in Advanced User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) complements security solutions and security measures built into cloud services. With intelligent analysis of user behavior, EUBA can detect suspicious activities, malicious activities, and even identify risky user behavior before a breach occurs.

CASBs enable organisations to extend their information protection policies and programs from their on-premises infrastructure and applications to the cloud – providing a central location for policy and governance concurrently across multiple cloud services — for users and devices — and granular visibility into and control over user activities and sensitive data.

With cloud usage growing exponentially, CASBs have become an essential element of any cloud security strategy, helping organizations govern the use of cloud and protect sensitive data in the cloud. Gartner Inc recommends that security and risk management leaders concerned about their organizations’ cloud use should investigate CASBs. Other commentators go further, describing CASBs, and in particular autonomous ones, as rapidly becoming essential for almost all organisations.

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