Archive for the ‘analytics’ Category

European Commission, IT companies and telcos pump €2.5bn into big data initiatives #bigdata

Source: Business Cloud News

The European Commission and the Big Data Value Association have signed a memorandum of understanding that will see the Commission and private sector firms pump €2.5bn into a number of big data-focused initiatives between 2015 and 2020.

The EC said it will put up €500m from the Horizon 2020 fund to help create up to 100,000 new data-related jobs in Europe by 2020, and invest in businesses using data innovatively for energy efficiency optimisation, healthcare service improvement, and industrial machinery applications.

The Big Data Value Association, which represents ATOS, Nokia Solutions and Networks, Orange, SAP, SIEMENS, and several research bodies, and other members of the EC’s Data public private partnership (PPP) including IBM, SAP, Software AG and a number of other organisations, will pump at least another €2bn into the initiatives over the same period.

“Data is the motor and foundation of the future economy,” said EC vice president Neelie Kroes, who signed the MoU along with Big Data Value Association president Jan Sundelin.

“Every kind of organisation needs the building blocks to boost their performance, from farm to factory, from the lab to the shop floor,” Kroes said.

The EC and participating firms will also help create “innovation spaces” as part of the effort, which will offer secure environments for experimenting with private and publicly available data sets.

In October last year the European Council called on the Commission to support more initiatives aimed at helping European businesses compete more ably in the digital economy, as well as other broad related efforts in mobile and cloud computing.


Join the Analytics and Big Data Congress in London this December and hear how other industries are also improving their consumer insights & operations through data analytics deployment. Including…

  •  Philips representing, Electronics: “Data-Driven Digital Innovation at Philips: a practical case study”
  • Last minute representing, Online Hospitality: “Translate big data to big marketing”
  • P&G representing, FMCG: “Focus on the analytics to succeed with big data & data mining”
  • Asda representing, Retail: “Looking at how big data has impacted the single customer view and how organisations can influence their retention strategy”
  • BBC representing, Media: “Engaging the user: “Television and the 5 P of user engagement”
  • National Grid representing, Utilities: “Building agility into Business Intelligence with federated thinking”

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Mobile, cloud, big data platform helping to contain Ebola outbreak #bigdata

Source: Business Cloud News. October 27, 2014

IBM, working in conjunction with a number of organisations, is using a combination of mobile, cloud and analytics platforms to help Sierra Leone and Nigeria’s public health authorities contain Ebola outbreaks and help coordinate disaster relief efforts in the region.

The partners, which include Sierra Leone’s Open Government Initiative, Cambridge University’s Africa’s Voices project, Airtel and Kenya’s Echo Mobile, are deploying a platform that enables citizens to report Ebola-related issues via SMS.

Those messages are collected along with location-based data and fed into an IBM Connections-based platform that provides insight to governments about the disease’s spread, helping public health authorities identify correlations in the data and emerging outbreaks as they happen in real time.

The platform aims to help emergency workers coordinate and allocate medical resources to areas in need of Ebola-related relief.

“We saw the need to quickly develop a system to enable communities directly affected by Ebola to provide valuable insight about how to fight it,” said Dr. Uyi Stewart, chief scientist, IBM Research – Africa. Using mobile technology, we have given them a voice and a channel to communicate their experiences directly to the government.”

IBM developed the cloud and analytics platform underpinning the service along with Sierra Leone’s Open Government Initiative. Local telco Airtel has set up the toll-free number via which citizens can send SMS messages, while Kenyan start-up Echo Mobile anonymises the SMS data.

Cambridge University’s Africa’s Voices project helped incorporate questions sent via SMS into public service announcements to elicit feedback from citizens in both English and Krio.

According to IBM the organisations are working to extend the platform’s capabilities by incorporating phone signal data to track footfall, enabling scientists to map and accurately predict the disease’s spread.

IBM said it’s already opened up the IBM Connections platform to Nigeria’s Lagos State Government, which hosts an Ebola Operations Centre that coordinates disease containment efforts on behalf of the Nigerian government and other organisations.

The goal, IBM said, is to create a cloud-based Ebola Open Data Repository which will provide governments, aid agencies and researchers with free and open access to valuable data related to the Ebola outbreak.

This isn’t the first time IBM has coordinated technology deployments in a bid to support disaster relief initiatives. The company granted access to its SmartCloud platform to support both post-Haiti and Chile quake efforts in 2010.

People pose the greatest risk for network security – what can companies do?

Guest post from Rick Delgado.

Rick DelgadoWhile people can be the greatest asset, at times improving the bottom line for any organization, people also pose the greatest risk for network security. Employees can open enterprises up to data breaches in many ways whether it’s through ignorance, malicious intent, or pure carelessness.

What is a Data Breach?

A data breach is the unauthorized or illegal viewing, access, or retrieval of data by an individual, application, or service. It’s designed to steal and/or publish data to an unsecured location, also known as a data spill or data leak. Recent examples of data breaches of high impact are the breaches of Home Depot and Target. Home Depot’s breach affected about 56 million credit and debit cards, and Target impacted nearly 40 million cards. 43 percent of companies experienced a data breach in the past year, which is an increase of ten percent compared to the year before that.

Employee Negligence

According to one study, 80 percent of data breaches happen because of employee negligence. The root cause of the breach can be traced to someone giving out their password, a misplaced USB, spear phishing scams, or even a door left open to the company network center. Nearly 30 percent of companies who experienced a breach did not have a response plan or a team in place. Part of the issue with creating effective breach plans is the lack of employee confidence in their organization’s ability to take precautions. Only about 30 percent of people surveyed about their organization’s plans felt those plans were effective or very effective.

Limiting Access to Personal Data

Not limiting access to personal data comes with its consequences. About 70 percent of people in a recent poll reported they or one of their friends were spammed on a social networking site like Facebook. 46 percent were victims of phishing attacks and another 45 percent received malware.

Employees who share too much information on their social profiles put themselves and the enterprise at risk for data theft. Cybercriminals can steal company information through profiles and posts with attacks based on interests and likes. The security threats, also known as social engineering, are difficult to recognize and affect sites like Twitter and Google+. Attacks like “clickjacking” or “likejacking” trick web users into sharing confidential information, or they can take control of their computer when users access a certain link. Scammers will attract the curiosity of users with ambiguous entertaining headlines, getting users to share it with their friends and making it viral across the web.

Reducing the Risk Internally

Companies can reduce the risk to network security through training and establishing security plans. Although not every employee will express full confidence in their data breach response plan, it’s important to create one so the company has a platform to act on in case of an attack.

The first step in creating an effective plan is preparing only for incidents of concern to your business. It’s impossible to plan for everything and there’s no reason anyone should. The next step is to practice planned responses. A plan is worthless if it isn’t put into action. After creating an effective plan and practicing planned responses, it’s important for the company to think about responding in “minutes” and not “hours.” Companies need to move quickly to determine the cause and impact of the attack on their network security. The last two steps to a successful data breach response plan is to not over-communicate and to focus on restoring service before doing the forensics. Sharing too much information will put employees and shareholders into panic mode while creating a media mess. Restoring service should come first because the needs of customers need to meet, otherwise margins will drop drastically.

Proper training of employees can help a company keep everyone as informed as possible, in turn boosting network security. Knowledge is power, so executives will need to decide how much information employees should have and what types of information they’re allowed to share on their networking profiles. Keeping close tabs on company data may seem time consuming and tedious, but it’s not worth the risk of losing mission-critical information, tax records, and whatever else cyber criminals may be after.

About Rick Delgado: I’ve been blessed to have a successful career and have recently taken a step back to pursue my passion of freelance writing. I love to write about new technologies and keeping ourselves secure in a changing digital landscape. I occasionally write articles for several companies, including Dell. Twitter: @ricknotdelgado

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