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CTOvision December Monthly Summary

We started December with a focus on Big Data by recapping Bob Bob Gourley’s interview at the Enterprise CIO Forum where he explained what Big Data was and what it was good for, highlighting Hadoop as the dominant framework for solutions. We also explained how Big Data can make a difference in manufacturing, the most data-intensive sector which stores nearly 2 exabytes of new information in 2010 ready to be mined and leveraged. Hadoop got easier to use last month with the release of Cloudera Enterprise 3.7, a complete life cycle management tool for Hadoop clusters, and we announced a likely January Hadoop Users Group meetingin Washington, DC.We also highlighted how the government has been conquering Big Data with more profiles of Government Big Data Solutions Award top nominees from this year’s Hadoop World, including GCE Federal, which provides agencies with financial analysis solutions in the cloud, and Wayne Wheeles’ Sherpa Surfing, an open source cybersecurity solution used by several Department of Defense organizations to monitor network communications data. We wrote about the FBI’s Next Generation Identification system, which will be able to search through the world’s largest biometric database better and faster than the current systems. Also, we explained the recent strides the federal government has been taking to embrace mobile computing such as tablets and smartphones with the caveat that the government adoption of Android operating system is troubling without mobile risk management solutions. We also recapped Cyber Command’s first major tactical exercise and echoed the warnings of some of the internet’s foundersabout censorship in the Stop Online Piracy Act.

Throughout December, CTOvision.com had numerous posts on developments in mobile, which we believe to be one of the most important trends in IT. We reviewed new smartphones and found the Motorola Droid RAZR to be a good but not on par with the excellent Galaxy Nexus. We also reviewed the Kindle Fire, which has become the tablet of choice for Android app developers. Mobile apps can have a strategic impact in government and even can even give Special Operations Forces a tactical advantage but only if risk is reduced via solutions like Fixmo’s Mobile Risk Management. Some great mobile applications we talked about were WayIn, which allows you to get instant feedback on media, Summly, which automatically generates text summaries, and Google Currents, which allow you to subscribe to news sources and RSS feeds. We also wrote about Carrier IQ, the controversial diagnostic application preset on most smartphones which logs extremely detailed information about users.

For disruptive IT this month we looked at interesting new devices to compile a list of gift suggestions for the holiday season, including the Roku player, which allows users to play media from their computers on their home theaters. We also provided information on the advantages and disadvantages of the Apple and Google ecosystems. We examined IT’s past with a history of ERP software, and predicted its future in 2012 as well as trying to determine what the purchase of Israeli flash memory producer Anobit means for Apple. We also wrote on innovative software such as Granola, which saves energy without reducing computer or data center performance, the revolutionary protection and availability storage platform Actifio, and Private Eye 3.3 which recognizes your face and blurs your screen when others try to look at it. We explained how such applications can be moved into the cloud with VMware’s vFabric Cloud Application Platform. We also wrote about how IT was being used in novel ways when we analyzed the technology of Occupy Wall Street, showing how connection, communication, and media technology was being used to sustain the protests.

As always, we also covered the notable cybersecurity news and trends for December. We looked at the current state of security, with only 18% of applications passing security tests on their first attempt and countless “wake up calls” either going ignored or setting off a panic in the industry. We explained some of the leading current threats, including USB drives, which can be used for attacks beyond delivering malware, Duqu, often said to be a Stuxnet clone yet without the delivery system that made Stuxnet so dangerous and innovative, and the recently patched Microsoft TCP vulnerability. Fortunately, along with new and evolving threats there are new solutions, such as Fixmo’s Sentinel for monitoring and auditing and Safezone for an encrypted sandbox, Invincea’s virtualized browser and PDF reader to insulate your computer as it engages in its riskiest activities, and CloudShield’s partnership with SAIC and McAfee to provide an end-to-end “Intelligently Adapt” approach to security.

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