A sneak preview of TM Forum Big Data 2014

TMForumBigDataI’m lucky enough to be going to the TM Forum Big Data event in Amsterdam next week. It should be an interesting set of speakers and reference point for what telcos are doing with big data and also a great place to share best practice and practical experience.

I’m particularly interested to see the use cases for telco big data, looking at what data is being collected (from the network, handset, customer data) but also how that data is being used (customer experience, fraud, DevOps, marketing etc.)

We hear a lot about how big data allows better analysis, more informed decisions and identification of trends but in particular I’m keen to hear the presentation on how telcos are monetizing big …

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Big data and financial services – an EMEA perspective

I was lucky enough to attend the first day of the “Big Data in Financial Services” event in London a few days ago. I know some people might not think of that as lucky but I say it on the back of a surprisingly varied agenda, entertaining speakers and a lot of good debate and content on what big data means to FS companies and how they are using it.

The key point that I took away was that right now, FS companies are using big data today to focus on operational issues – risk, efficiency, compliance, security and making better decisions. However, there is a growing trend in FS companies looking at how big data is going …

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Microsoft Patch Tuesday! Are your servers patched?

It’s my most favorite time of the month – Patch Tuesday! Ok, I might be slightly exaggerating there. Let’s face it. It’s a pain in the neck. I have to go around to every server in my development environment and ensure that all the critical patches have been taken care of. Usually, this means a trip to Windows Update, or checking the logs of the Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) server. Today, I woke up and decided Splunk was going to assist with this.

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Splunk for Meaningful Use

I visited a Health Care customer recently to discuss their most important use cases for Splunk. They’ve taken a holistic approach to getting all of their application data into Splunk and it’s really paying off. A key use case for their many health care facilities helps them stay compliant to meet their meaningful use requirements.

Meaningful use of health information technology is an umbrella term for rules and regulations that hospitals and physicians must meet to qualify for federal incentive funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). One of the overarching goals is to use Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of patient care. Bottom line, it’s important to all …

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The first major HIPAA/HITECH fee levied

UPDATE

When you think about it, the fine levied by the HHS Office of Civil Rights isn’t all the cost of this HIPAA violation for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. Turns out this was pricier than we thought. According to the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati….

“BlueCross had self-reported the underlying incident under HIPAA’s requirements, and incurred more than $17 million in direct expenses relating to its investigation and remediation of the incident. The HHS investigators faulted BlueCross BlueShield for failing to implement appropriate administrative safeguards to protect information by storing protected health information on unencrypted computer hard drives. Under the settlement, BlueCross BlueShield also agreed to review and revise its healthcare information privacy and security policies, and

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Three Splunk 4.3 features security pros should start using today

There is a lot to like in Splunk 4.3 for security use cases, but three items should be of particular interest to security professionals.

Sparklines – Adding Time to Tables for Reporting

I use tables of information in several of the security reports I create. Usually I’ll want to track a particular type of event and include the number of times it happens along with an average over a period of time. This allows me to benchmark a particular threshold and use that as the impetus for an investigation. For example:

I want to track the number of successful accesses against assets where critical data is stored over a twenty-four hour period by user. My table will contain the name …

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Smart Grid Data — the ‘wild west’ of privacy rights

I had the pleasure of attending a two day seminar on Managing SCADA Network Security Risks. One of the most interesting seminars was Data Access and Privacy Issues Related to Smart Grid Technologies by Megan Hertzler, Assistant General Council with Xcel Energy. She said that when the meter reader used to come to the house and record your electrical usage, it was aggregate data. There were no privacy issues and the electric company owned the data. Now with Smart Meters the electric company can:

  • Detect how many people live at your house by watching the number of cycles of your hot water heater (not accounting for bad hygiene);
  • Know when you’re home by the energy cycle of the TV;
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Today’s the last day to vote for VMworld sessions–make your voice heard

Please vote for Splunk’s sessions at VMworld–today’s the last day to vote. You need to create an account, but please go here and vote for Splunk’s sessions at Vmworld:

2108 Best Practices for the Data-Centric Approach to Managing Virtual Desktops

2486 Show What You Know: Enforce Compliance in vSphere Environments and Prove It…

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Splunking the RSA Conference

It’s that time of year again – time for one of our favorite conferences, RSA. That it happens to be in our own backyard is a double bonus. We have a full slate of activities at RSA, so let this post serve as your Splunk @ RSA guide.

Splunk fans can register for a free exhibit hall pass with the registration code EC11SPL.

Stop by the Splunk booth (#2433) and check out our theatre featuring live demos of our partner apps freely available for download from Splunkbase.com.

Three partner apps will be demonstrated in our booth during the show hours: Splunk for Cisco SecuritySplunk for BlueCoat, and Splunk for Palo Alto Networks. In addition, demonstrations of …

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Monitoring the Effectiveness of a Security Awareness Program

I was at a CISO summit in Atlanta and one of the CISOs gave a presentation on creating a security awareness program.  He was able to get good support throughout the organization eliciting the help of the marketing department, legal department and other groups.  His team created videos about laptop theft and password sharing that featured a character called the Data Thief.  Yet, they we challenged on how to measure it’s effectiveness.  They ended up creating a number of surveys that they used to get some sense of the effectiveness of the program.  According the the survey overall, security awareness rose throughout the organization.  In a conversation with him afterwords I asked him if they’d thought about using log data …

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