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Tech Industry Leaders Reflect on Internet Day 2018


October 29th marks Internet Day, an annual celebration taking place since 2005 that celebrates the anniversary of the first internet transmission. This day is focused on celebrating the people who helped build the internet, while also providing us with a moment to reflect on all the ways that it has changed our lives forever.

To help celebrate, top experts from leading technology companies have given their thoughts on the importance of the internet, and the individuals who continue to develop and protect the online world.

Todd Krautkramer, CMO, at Cradlepoint

"When RAND researcher, Paul Baran, set out to design a more robust, redundancy-based communications network that would enable the military to communicate in the aftermath of a nuclear attack, he had no idea he was laying the foundation of the Internet we all know and love today. Baran's concept of separating information into packets before sending them out across a decentralized network of unmanned ‘switching' nodes quickly led to the creation of a high-speed, digital framework for exchanging information we now call the Internet.

On Global Internet Day it's a great time to reflect how we are witnessing the birth of another networking revolution with 5G, which is poised to be as transformative as the Internet itself. It has been less than a decade since 4G offered us wireless speeds of up to 100 megabits per second - the turning point for many data heavy technologies like music streaming and video conferencing. In no time at all, LTE Advanced Pro will be able to deliver speeds up to 10 times faster. 5G will build on this to provide network latency in the single digit milliseconds, massive connectivity for IoT and significantly longer battery life. 5G will provide the foundation for software-defined infrastructure and carrier-edge computing, and just like 4G - and the Internet before that - it will act as the springboard for an abundance of fledgling technologies, including virtual reality, remote-controlled robotics, telemedicine and autonomous vehicles," said Todd Krautkremer, CMO at Cradlepoint.

Neil Barton, CTO at WhereScape

"This Internet Day, it's hard to overstate just how far we've come since the first early websites. Now, more than just connecting people and computers, the Internet is as much about connecting 'things.' According to Gartner, there will be 20 billion internet-connected things online by 2020. These are creating a data revolution all on their own, and the challenge for IT teams is how to incorporate these new data sources into existing analytics environments and make insights quickly and easily accessible to the business. Due to the sheer volume of connected devices both today and rapidly rising into the future, the only realistic solution is to embrace automation to ingest, transform and deliver real-time data and insight to meet the speed of the business. Data automation can ensure that, regardless of the type of data - streaming or otherwise, businesses will be able to absorb the astronomical volume of data on the horizon and be in a position to leverage its insights quickly," said Neil Barton, CTO at WhereScape.

Stephen Gailey, solutions architect at Exabeam

"The Internet has changed the face of the world over the last 50 years.  What started with two terminals, each in a university computer science department, has become billions of connected devices globally.  We're now witnessing the birth of the next device boom: the Internet of Things - or IoT.  Beyond laptops and smartphones, Internet connectivity now includes a wide range of everyday objects and industrial assets - from cameras, sensors and monitoring devices to voice assistants like Siri and Echo. 
There is, of course, a security cost associated with this.  Modern software development techniques are a rich source of future security bugs.  Programmers nowadays are no longer scientists; they are fitters - assembling third party libraries, components and tools to create a desired application.  They are doing this without a clear understanding of the underlying principles of how these libraries work at a fundamental level.  Any failure in one of these software components, any lack of understanding in how to assemble them - or even in how they interact with the rest of the Internet - is likely to lead to a significant future vulnerability.  Like all attacks, IoT incidents are unpredictable and can potentially cause tremendous damage.

As people continue to connect their household devices to the Internet, you can expect to see some significant privacy breaches over the coming years.  We need to be thinking about this now, particularly as organizations lacking the skills or experience to build such products jump onto the IoT bandwagon," said Stephen Gailey, solutions architect at Exabeam.

Matt VanderZwaag, director of product development at US Signal

"World Internet Day gives us a chance to reflect on everything the internet has enabled us to do and the effects it has on our lives. On one hand, the internet has brought people together from all over the world. In just a matter of seconds, someone from the United States can video chat with another person on the other side of the planet in China. Parents can quickly share pictures of their children with grandparents living thousands of miles away. Companies can operate in dozens of different cities and countries and still have instantaneous text, voice, and face-to-face communication. 

However, the internet has produced just as many dangers as it has benefits. As we put more and more sensitive data online, cyberattacks and internet/IT outages that can halt businesses in their tracks continue to rise. It is not just a good idea to have safeguards in place today - it is a must. One of the most important steps they can take is to have a disaster recovery plan in place. This level of protection continuously replicates your data and stores it on a secure cloud environment or virtual data center. If the need ever arises, your businesses can retrieve its data with just the click of a button. Additionally, all businesses should employ cloud-based security to guard their data from malicious intruders 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said Matt VanderZwaag, director of product development at US Signal.

Joseph Feiman, chief strategy officer at WhiteHat Security

"While the internet has brought along monumental advances in technology, we cannot celebrate it without also taking a moment to reflect on how it has completely changed the way we approach privacy. Fifty years ago, we believed that our privacy was a given right and the phrase ‘data breach' was not even a concept. Today, whether alone or in combination, no technology will enable our privacy the way it was before the internet. 
So how do we continue to take advantage of all the internet has to offer us and strengthen our security? Once government organizations and enterprises realize they are unable to protect all of the ever-growing volumes of data in the next five years, they will begin releasing them into open (or semi-open) access, making it available to most or all people. While this may seem outrageous now, think about the amount of information we have started to share with the world in the past five years via Facebook and Twitter as well as postings on websites, blogs and social and professional internet communities.

Just a few years ago, this personal information never would have been posted anywhere. Therefore, if an individual is already sharing it, does the government have to protect it? The internet has transformed us into an open society with a lack of privacy. Just as we embraced the connected world around us, a change in our security mindset as a culture will help us live happily," said Joseph Feiman, chief strategy officer at WhiteHat Security.

Steve Blow, technology evangelist at Zerto

"The Internet is a wonderful creation, but it is notorious for its outages. Even the very first data transmission back in 1969 was cut short by the connection between the terminals failing. While it was understandable that on this first try the Internet didn't work flawlessly, today it's a completely different story. Customers need constant access to websites such as Amazon, and when Netflix buffers it feels like the world might end. In these situations, it is often forgotten that the cause can be the underlying IT infrastructure supporting the website, and from a business point of view an outage can cause serious damage.

A key part of making sure that the applications, data and, ultimately, the Internet that we have all come to know and love is always available, is having a plan in place to ensure its resilience at all times. From the continuous protection of data, to the ability to move applications to ensure availability planning ahead, organizations are able to buck the trend of the first data transmission and the scathing headlines about downtime for constant availability. Essentially, if a business relies on the Internet, it's going to need an IT resilience plan," said Steve Blow, technology evangelist at Zerto.

Bob Davis, CMO at Plutora

"As we reflect on Internet Day, it occurs to me that the more things change, the more they stay the same. The core challenges that plagued the early days of the Internet are problems that still persist today. Program code has always suffered glitches, software continues to crash and certain technologies outpace others, throwing systems out of balance. The main difference today is that these problems can be more destructive, more widespread and far more expensive to fix. 
Take software bugs - the phrase was coined in 1947 because an actual moth had to be plucked from the back of a computer in order to repair it. However, today - a lifetime later - we see businesses succeed and fail based on how well their complex software functions. Every company today is a software company. They all rely on software to remain competitive, from Amazon to Zappos, and the software that they run on needs to be as bug-free as possible to avoid costly downtime. With the internet now one of the most consequential inventions across every industry, the top responsibility of business leaders is ensuring that their software is in good shape to avoid shutting down, disappointing customers and becoming a historical footnote," said Bob Davis, CMO at Plutora.

Scott Parker, director of product marketing at Sinequa

"Given the massive span of the Internet, more and more organizations are reaching a tipping point of just how much data they can process and turn into information and insights that are critical to innovation and making proper business decisions. As a result, organizations are becoming rich in data and poor in insights. Global Internet Day is a good opportunity to reflect on the evolution of search and analytics techniques and how modern technologies are helping employees access the right information faster and spend less time searching through irrelevant content. Finding ways to focus on relevant information in the proper context will significantly reduce the overall cognitive burden that obscures new insights and discoveries," said Scott Parker, director of product marketing at Sinequa.
Published Monday, October 29, 2018 10:50 AM by David Marshall
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