Many to most IT organizations have been asked to support new consumer devices like smartphones, tablets or personal PCs inside the enterprise environment - a trend often refered to as "IT Consumerization".  Intel IT is no different and after a long 12+ month journey of research and evaluation, Intel IT launched a BYO smartphone program in January 2010 that has been very successful.

 

However, our journey has just begun.  Intel IT is shifting focus to deliver certain services to any device. By taking advantage of a combination of technologies and trends—such as ubiquitous Internet connectivity, virtualization, and cloud computing—we have an opportunity to redefine the way we provide services to meet changing user requirements. We call this vision the Compute Continuum, a program to chart the path to deliver these capabilities.Compute Continuum.JPG

The end state of this compute continuum journey is a more dynamic service delivery model where IT services can be envisioned across a range of devices including TVs, home PCs, netbooks, tablets and other non-traditional devices like in-automobile or in-plane displays. The usage model of these services (better and more flexible collaboration with the people we work and live with) are not that far fetched and is what brought me to the title of this blog - Planes, Trains and Automobiles

 

How many of you remember the 1987 movie, Planes Trains and Automobiles that starred Steve Martin and John Candy.  The story line is that Steve Martin is trying to get home to his family for the holiday but keeps having travel challenges and ends up being stuck with John Candy (an annoying traveling salesman) who "helps" Steve get home.

 

Steve Martin was seriously inconvenienced (and lost productivity, his ability to get home) because he did not have access to the services (phone, internet, alternative transportation companies) he needed to adjust his plans quickly and on the fly.  If Steve had access to the scheduling services on a range of devices and locations, he would have had a much easier time in getting home, collaborating with colleagues/friends/family and simply adapting to the environment around him.

 

So why does this matter to business - we believe that by delivering employees a rich, seamless and more personal experience across multiple devices, where they can move from device to device, location to location, while retaining access to the information, services and people they need to get their job done most efficiently and with the highest degree of productivity.

 

As a result we do envision a future capability that could involve delivering IT services for our employees to a display or new type of computing device accessible inside planes, trains and automobiles - securely enabled by desktop virtualization, cloud computing and a whole lot of IT innovation.

 

You can read more about Intel IT's vision of the compute continuum in this whitepaper about preparing IT for the compute continuum

 

I welcome your comments below.

 

Chris

A: Intel

 

Because

~ 600 phones require 1 server

and

~ 122 tablets require 1 server

 

Find out more by watching this this video about the new Intel Xeon E7 processor.

In a recent Dark Reading article, a number of experts gave their perspectives on where the focus should be in order to prioritize security effort.

Attacker.jpg

Focusing on attacks and not vulnerabilities can help companies prioritize their defensive efforts, says Dino Dai Zovi, a well-known independent security researcher.

And…

 

Security consultant Daniel Guido stated "We can step back and study these things that are coming after us, and we can build more informed defenses that are more effective against those particular threats and that are less costly than not having done this process to begin with," 

The industry has traditionally focused on vulnerabilities as the primary way to prioritize security efforts.  Momentum is gaining to move away from this practice and put more focus on the attacks themselves as well as the threat agents who initiate them.  I have to say I am in the "know your enemy and know yourself..." camp.  What can I say, I am a fan of Sun Tzu's "Art of War".  When trying to interdict the enemy, I believe it is far more important to know what is likely, versus what is theoretically possible.

 

I say let Occam's razor, the law of economy, path of least resistance, and common sense rule.  Given a large number of paths to success, people tend to choose the most convenient, less risky, and most cost effective options.  The others are ignored.  The sheer volume of vulnerabilities is overwhelming.  History shows only a small number are regularly exploited.  In large or complex environments, knowing and attempting to close every possible vulnerability is an expensive and never-ending exercise in futility.  Better to make informed decisions based upon what is likely.  Understanding vulnerabilities is a valuable and necessary exercise as part of the decision process, but does not deliver optimal security prioritization alone.

 

I refer back to an older Fortune Cookie Security Advice blog:

 

In information security, like in sports, knowing your adversary is far more important than knowing the condition of the field.

 

I think the industry is starting to delineate between threat agents, the 'attackers', and the methods to use, the 'attacks', to exploit known vulnerabilities.  It may be why I am getting more and more inquires about the Threat Agent Risk Assessment (TARA) whitepaper I published back in 2010.

 

The underlying concept for the Threat Agent Risk Assessment (TARA) methodology is to narrow down the focus by taking into consideration the people behind the attacks.  Knowing your attacker, their objectives, and the likely methods they will employ, gives a tremendously powerful picture of what should be prioritized, based upon known vulnerabilities, controls, and exposures.

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