What’s more secure than a secure internet connection? How about no connection at all?That’s the philosophy behind air gap: using PCs that are not connected to the internet, other devices nor the company’s primary network. For high-assurance organizations like utilities, critical infrastructure, banks, government agencies and other heavily regulated companies, air-gapped devices can be a simple solution to today’s complex data security challenges.The idea behind air gap technology is simple: leave no doors or windows open, and criminals will have no way in and data no way out. There are very few ways to infiltrate air-gapped computers because data can only be shared to and from the machine via a FireWire connection, a USB flash drive or other external, removable media.But as many IT teams have learned firsthand in recent years, air-gapped devices aren’t immune to insider threats, zero-day attacks or the risk of coming into contact with malicious USBs. Stuxnet, a virus that wreaked havoc on centrifuges used at a uranium enrichment plant in Iran back in 2010, is one of the most notorious examples of compromising an air-gapped environment. The attackers first infected the PCs of external contractors programming the plant’s systems in Iran. Unaware they had been breached, the contractors brought their infected laptops into the plant to transfer data to the air-gapped systems with a flash drive.More recently, WikiLeaks released new Vault7 files revealing the details of malware aimed at infecting air-gapped PCs using USB drives. This leak, known as Brutal Kangaroo, included a user guide on “Drifting Deadline,” malware designed to first infect a computer and then any thumb drive plugged into it. After infecting an air-gapped device, the malware would perform an encore, employing a software called “Shadow” to create a custom covert network within the victim’s closed network where the attacker could carry on freely with further attacks.So how can high-assurance organizations protect their air-gapped devices? Many organizations in air-gapped environments turn to traditional, signature-based anti-virus solutions for additional protection, but they require ongoing, manual updates. These frequent signature updates are an enormous burden for IT teams, and sometimes IT falls behind on this time-consuming maintenance. Furthermore, signature-based anti-virus is inadequate protection against zero day threats or newly-created targeted malware precisely because it hasn’t been released yet – a requirement for these applications in order to have the malware signatures.All of this amounts to a defense that’s less than airtight, which isn’t good enough for high-assurance companies in heavily-regulated industries. Dell took on the task of finding a way to close the gaps in air gap environments to give our clients the level of protection they require and helping them reduce the burden on their IT teams at the same time.We recently introduced an air gap version of our Dell Endpoint Security Suite Enterprise solution. By developing APIs to adapt the solution with Cylance’s mathematical modeling technology and enabling it for on-premises, air gap environments, we are able to give organizations an advanced threat protection and data encryption solution that removes many of the shortcomings that make air-gapped environments vulnerable and inefficient for teams to manage.The combined power of advanced threat protection and data encryption rolled into a single, on-premises solution means organizations can defend against insider threats like malicious USB connections as well as external zero-day attacks, in addition to protecting the data itself with file-based encryption. Dell Endpoint Security Suite Enterprise air gap solution not only protects against incoming threats, but goes one step further by easing the burden on IT teams because the mathematical models used to detect anomalies only need to be updated a few times a year. Compare this to the often daily, manual updates required by signature-based anti-virus solutions.The data encryption solution included in the suite provides a policy-based approach to protect data on any device or external media. It allows IT to easily enforce encryption policies for multiple endpoints and operating systems without disrupting end-user productivity.If you’re ready to see the next generation of air gap security solutions, we’re ready to show it to you. Learn more at Dell.com/DataSecurity
“Strive to be more than number one. Strive to be the greatest number one. – Matshona DhliwayoHow should one feel when you reach the pinnacle of the tall, steep mountain you always wanted to climb? Or when you finish the grueling marathon you have trained hard for? Or when you find out your company is number one in the world in both server revenue and units?Joyful? Yes.A bit worn? Yes.Motivated? Definitely.This is the first time that Dell EMC is the leader in the x86 server business in both revenue and in units, a business equivalent of not only having the cake and but eating it too. This could not have occurred if our customers worldwide did not think PowerEdge servers were the best of breed, or if our sales teams did not persuasively highlight the value these servers bring to our customers’ businesses. We must acknowledge and celebrate this high watermark of our business.As we bask in this accomplishment, I pause to reflect on what has made this possible, and how can we sustain this seemingly untenable goal. Among many positive attributes such as innovative engineering and great products that came together to get us to number one, three attributes seem to stand out:Customer-Centric ApproachHaving been at other leading tech organizations, I have found that being customer-centric is more than a convenient moniker at Dell EMC. It is a fundamental guiding principle for how we develop these amazingly complex server products. Our customers span across multiple industry verticals and range from a humble two-person shop in a remote corner of Asia to large enterprises on Wall Street. Despite this large market with diverse needs, our teams listen to our customers, understand their unique needs, engineer the right server solution at the right value, and deliver the right growth tool enabling businesses to thrive. Our growing base of customers seem to understand our customer-centric approach and have entrusted their businesses to run on PowerEdge — the bedrock of modern IT.Culture of EmpowermentGen. George Patton said it best: “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” I believe that we continuously strive to foster a sense of empowerment in our teams by keeping an open, honest, bi-directional communication. We encourage risk-taking knowing well that not all ideas will hit the intended mark. I sincerely believe that empowering people to accomplishing their dreams is the surefire way to achieving your goals. I was pleased to read recently that Comparably, a compensation, culture and careers monitoring website, found Dell EMC to have one of the best managers in 2017. This is, perhaps, another testimonial that we are on the right path when it comes to empowering our people.Positive TeamworkAt Dell EMC, I have found and experienced great teamwork. When given an objective or a target, individuals and leaders come together quickly and efficiently to work towards their goal. Are they always harmonious? No. Are there differences of opinion, of thought? Certainly. However, there exists a certain professionalism and mutual respect in our teams that I have rarely seen in other places. I believe this teamwork will help us keep up the momentum.There is indeed a heady feeling when one is ranked number one in the server business. While we savor for a bit longer, we need to be cognizant that the market is dynamic, the technology advantages are always evolving and fleeting, the competitive landscape is fierce and customer needs are more demanding. We will continue to bring the best server products to market and I believe that the above three attributes (or secrets) are the ones that will separate the market leaders from the followers.A big thank you to the broad Dell EMC family of partners and team members who made this momentous occasion possible and congratulations to all our customers for making the right choice and entrusting us with your compute needs. We will certainly continue to earn the trust and respect of every single customer and partner of ours while keeping our feet firmly on the ground.
The platform design paradigm from the early days of Hadoop has been to co-locate compute and storage on the same server, which requires expanding both in tandem as your Hadoop cluster grows. This is an acceptable approach for workloads that need to expand compute and storage simultaneously. But, as Hadoop gained mainstream adoption, enterprises started finding workloads where the need for storage outpaced the need for compute. And now, after a decade of big data, enterprises are finding that historical data sets, though accessed less frequently, still need to be easily accessible. This has brought forth new data architecture concepts, as many enterprises look to deploy solutions with independent scaling of compute and storage, plus the option to leverage object storage (in addition to HDFS storage) for Hadoop.Dell EMC offers leading edge file and native HDFS storage product Dell EMC Isilon and distributed object storage product Dell EMC ECS. Since our partnership with Hortonworks and Cloudera began in 2015, we have been engaged in joint engineering and validation efforts to bring these enterprise shared storage solutions to both Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) and Cloudera Data Hub (CDH).These on-going efforts have proven critical in delivering differentiated shared storage solutions that encapsulate the concept of a consolidated data lake that scales data and compute independently, simplifies data management with non-disruptive growth from 10s of TBs to 10s of PBs in a single name space, delivers the flexibility to leverage HDFS and/or object storage, and makes it economical to store all of your data in a single place.A Renewed CommitmentWith the merger of Hortonworks and Cloudera, as well as Cloudera’s new streamlined Quality Assurance Test Suite (QATS) process for certifying both CDH and HDP with hardware vendors, we are excited to announce an accelerated partnership with Cloudera in validating and certifying both CDH and HDP with both Isilon and ECS.“As the Hadoop landscape and storage requirements evolve, we’re excited to partner with Dell EMC to bring to market solutions backed by its leading edge unstructured data storage offerings like Isilon and ECS,” said Nadeem Asghar, VP of Solutions and Partner Engineering at Cloudera. “Dell EMC shares our commitment to ensuring our customers can always stay ahead of industry and technology trends and we look forward to delivering solutions to our customers for years to come.”What Does This Mean For You?This new investment strengthens the Dell EMC and Cloudera partnership allowing us to:Continue to support our existing joint customers on existing and future hardware and software releases.Bring shared storage model at scale with innovative and fully validated end-to-end platforms to support the growing Hadoop ecosystem.Today, Dell EMC Isilon has been validated with HDP 3.1 and CDH 5.14. These solutions are supported by Dell EMC and Cloudera and will continue to be supported, via a joint support process. This process involves triaging the issue with the Hadoop solution, regardless of where it was discovered, and directing the issue to appropriate teams.Over the course of next few months, we are contracted to work jointly with Cloudera to get Isilon certified through QATS as the primary HDFS store for both CDH (version 6.3.1) and HDP (version 3.1). In the same timeframe, we also plan to get Dell ECS certified through QATS as the S3 object store for both CDH and HDP. What’s Next?Beyond this, we plan to launch new joint Hadoop Tiered Storage solutions that enable customers to use Direct Attached Storage (DAS) for hot data and Shared HDFS Storage for warm/cold data within the same logical Hadoop cluster, simultaneously delivering extreme performance and economic scaling. We are also working closely with Cloudera product teams to align the Dell EMC Isilon and ECS product roadmaps with Cloudera’s product strategy for Cloudera Data Platform (CDP), the new Hadoop distribution that combines the best of breed components from both CDH and HDP.Finally, Isilon’s capability as a data lake that can manage data for several Hadoop distributions simultaneously enables us to offer phased migration services from CDH or HDP to CDP. This simplifies the process and significantly minimizes business risk in migrating to the new Hadoop distribution. At Dell EMC, we plan to launch these migration services as CDP becomes available for on-prem deployment.You can find more information about Data Analytics and Hadoop solutions built using Isilon here and Apache Spark on Isilon here. For the technically inclined, you can find technical details on Hadoop with Isilon here. If you have questions or feedback on Dell EMC’s offerings in Hadoop, please reach out to your local Dell EMC account executive.
NEW YORK (AP) — Marty Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post and one of the nation’s top journalists, says he will retire at the end of February. He’s led the Post since 2012 as it has seen a resurgence with explosive growth as a digital presence. In a note to staff, Baron noted a series of “epic” stories he has worked on as leaders of newsrooms at the Post, Boston Globe and Miami Herald and said at the age of 66, he feels “ready to move on.” His portrayal in the Academy Award-winning movie “Spotlight” about the Globe’s investigation of the Catholic Church made Baron known to a wider audience.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A senior U.N. official says Cyclone Eloise has affected 250,000 people in the Mozambique port city of Beira and surrounding areas and damaged or destroyed 76 health centers and 400 classrooms. Myrta Kaulard, the U.N. resident coordinator in the southern African country, told a virtual U.N. briefing on Tuesday that “We also see widespread floods that are still there.” She said “a lot of people trying to get out of the flooded areas.” Nearly two years ago Cyclone Idai devastated exactly the same areas, killing hundreds of people. And Kaulard said that in December Cyclone Chalane hit the same area.
It’s a fable for our times: Small-time investors band together to take down greedy Wall Street hedge funds using the stock of a troubled video-game store. But the revolt of online stock-traders suggests much more. The internet is shifting society’s balance of power in unanticipated ways. And the same tools that empower the little guy can also give rise to extremist mobs waging harassment campaigns or the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. Last week they gave us the Great GameStop Stock Uprising. Who knows what this week will bring. The only thing for sure is that we’ll be seeing more of it.
GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (AP) — Police say one person has died and another person suffered minor injuries in a shooting at a northern Wisconsin mall. Grand Chute Police Officer Travis Waas didn’t immediately identify either victim on Sunday night. He said the shooter left the mall before officers arrived and remained on the loose Sunday night. Police were called to the Fox River Mall in Grand Chute, a suburb of Appleton, at about 3:30 p.m. Photos from the scene showed officers, some in tactical gear, staging outside the mall and what appeared to be customers walking out with their hands in the air. Grand Chute is about 100 miles north of Milwaukee.
MILAN (AP) — The former European Central Bank chief credited with helping to save the euro has now been tapped to lead Italy out of the pandemic and the worst recession since World War II. Draghi gained global respect as the head of the European Central Bank for eight years, managing monetary policy for the 19 countries that use the euro, with an economy worth 12 trillion euros, or $14.4 trillion. He not only has an insider’s grasp of the financial rule book that Italy must follow, but he has the respect of those whose forbearance Italy may require during the difficult months and years ahead.