Tech Bytes: February 15

February 15th, 2018

Topics: AI & Machine Learning Big Data / Analytics Blockchain / Distributed Trust Customer eCommerce Global Infrastructure Internet of Things Marketing / Sales Mobile Risk Management Robotics Social Value Chain Virtual Reality Security

Tech Bytes

Malware Attacks Hits Olympic Games in South Korea

This year’s Winter Olympic Games are a spectacle of technology. Earlier this week we reviewed the various emerging technologies being deployed at the games (Read Post). As with most things, with the reliance on technology comes the darker side of cybersecurity attacks that have become all too prevalent at large events. The opening ceremony at the Olympics was the latest to experience a vicious malware attack. The attack took down networks and wifi systems and caused media outlets to lose access at a critical time for reporting. The attack also took down the Olympics website spectators use to print their tickets, leaving the stadium half empty when people didn’t have tickets to enter the venue due to the outage.

Although speculation at this point, several cyber experts have reviewed the attacks and found common calling cards linked to Russian hackers, indicating the attack could be linked to Russian anger over the prohibition of its athletes from competing under the Russian flag due to a ban resulting from state-sponsored doping programs that were widespread at previous Olympic Games.

Read More: Cyberattack Caused Olympic Opening Ceremony Disruption
Read More: Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Opening Disrupted by Malware Attack
Read More: Winter Olympics Hit by Cyber-Attack
Read More: Officials Confirm that a Cyberattack Took Place During the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies


Amazon Extends Its Ownership Over Value Chain, Launches Delivery Service Pilot in Los Angeles

Almost two full years ago in Tech Bytes, we discussed why FedEx should fear Amazon. At the time, FedEx Services CEO, Mike Glenn, answered a question from a caller during its earnings call regarding it’s worry about the ecommerce giant by stating:

“The reality is it will be a daunting task requiring tens of billions of dollars in capital and years to build sufficient scale and density to replicate existing networks like FedEx.”

Well, this week Amazon announced plans to launch a delivery service for third party sellers and stock in FedEx (and UPS) both tumbled on the news. The service, dubbed “Shipping with Amazon” will complement its “Fulfilled by Amazon” service for third party sellers using the Amazon ecommerce platform.

The challenge for traditional companies competing head-to-head with digital firms is not that those firms will replace them entirely and build a parallel operation to replicate their business, but that digital firms will target a segment of their business important to their own business (in this case, delivery of ecommerce orders). For Amazon, they do not enter delivery to become FedEx, but to own an important piece of their value chain and the customer experience that is critical to their business. Amazon suffers if delivery by third party firms doesn’t meet customer expectations. Instead of forcing partners to adhere to its standards, they will take over another link in the value chain to ensure control of the user experience. It’s core to their customer-centric approach and an obvious evolution of their value proposition with sellers and customers.

The lesson for other businesses is to recognize which pieces of your business are potential targets for digital, non-traditional players looking to extend their value chains in similar ways. It’s wise to assess the risk and impact of losing that portion of your business, and taking steps to protect your business from disruption. Waiting to respond to Amazon (or similar threats) is a losing strategy.

Read More: Amazon to Launch Delivery Service That Would Vie With FedEx, UPS
Read More: Jeff Bezos’s Amazon Will Launch a Delivery Service to Compete With UPS and FedEx
Read More: UPS, FedEx Decline on Report of Amazon Package-Delivery Venture


The NY Times Digital Business is Growing Faster than Google and On Par with Facebook

Facebook is killing old media, or so the narrative goes. However, that narrative seems to be countered by the significant growth achieved by the NY Times digital team, announced via its annual earnings report this week. The digital Gray Lady saw sales jump 46% in 2017, with 14% growth in ad sales helping push the media giant above $1 billion in revenues for the year. The pace of digital growth puts it on par with growth rates at Facebook and bests the growth at Google for the same period. Further, the growth rate has been consistent since the official launch of the NY Times paywall in 2011. That’s a 46% sustained growth rate. Even firms in Silicon Valley would like to achieve that kind of digital growth rate over 6+ years.

Read More: New York Times Co. Subscription Revenue Surpassed $1 Billion in 2017
Read More: The New York Times Digital Paywall Business is Growing as Fast as Facebook and Faster than Google
Read More: New York Times Co. Shares Soar on Earnings Beat as Digital Subscriptions Surge


Crypto Jacking is a Thing, and a Threat to Your Organization’s Infrastructure

As cryptocurrency mining becomes a valuable way for owners of infrastructure to make money, the idea of hijacking company compute power to mine for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies was bound to take off as well. It turns out the problem is growing almost as fast as the hype. Given few individuals have the types of compute resources required to mine cryptocurrencies, some entrepreneurial hackers and IT workers are taking matters into their own hands.

This week a cybersecurity firm found mining operations running illegally on a European water utility’s systems, raising concerns over critical infrastructure and the potential for significant consequences if networks are not properly monitoring control systems. In addition to the obvious concerns over system hijacking, the compute power used to support the mining operations also runs up electricity bills for the unsuspecting host company, leaving firms to pick up the tab.

As cryptojacking becomes more of a reality, firms should develop an approach for protecting systems and monitoring infrastructure and compute power (as well as energy use) to discover attacks stemming from hackers using systems to mine for cryptocurrency.

Read More: Now Cryptojacking Threatens Critical Infrastructure, Too
Read More: Cryptojacking Malware Discovered Running on Critical Infrastructure Control Systems
Read More: What is Cryptojacking?


Featured CXOTalk Video of the Week: “Moneyball” for Movies: Data and Analytics at Legendary Entertainment

The movie industry has adopted “moneyball” techniques, based on data and analytics, to drive box office success. Join CXOTalk host Michael Krigsman in conversation with analytics pioneer, Matthew Marolda T’02, to explore how Legendary Entertainment uses analytics to drive box office success.

Matt Marolda is Chief Analytics Officer at Legendary Entertainment, where he started the company’s Applied Analytics division, which uses data and analytics to drive strategic decisions across all aspects of the company. Before joining Matt founded StratBridge, which developed software to help many organizations in the NFL, NBA, European Football and Major League Soccer with “moneyball” player analysis, dynamic pricing and revenue analysis.

Learn more about Legendary Entertainment’s use of analytics by reading the CDS case Legendary Entertainment – Film Making in the Age of Analytics coauthored by Faculty Director, Alva Taylor and Legendary Entertainment Chief Analytics Officer, Matt Marolda T’02.

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