Tag Archives: networks

INTELLIGENT INFRASTRUCTURE DESTRUCTION: CYBER ATTACKS

banner james carlini - Carlini's CornerBy James Carlini

A pragmatic, visionary perspective —–

When a cyber attack wipes out an organization’s ability to conduct business, the question to the organization’s CEO becomes, “Have you properly maintained the organization’s infrastructure and its networks, so that it can still function as a viable business entity?”

What areas are you are supposed to manage back-up, and maintain? A CEO better know this for today’s cyber attack-infested marketplace.

A large cyber attack is to a corporate CEO, like a rogue snowstorm to a mayor facing re-election. If the plows and salt trucks don’t do their jobs and the city is left stranded from the ravages of the storm, the mayor does not get re-elected. On the corporate side, the CEO walks the plank.

Making a strategic assessment of an enterprise’s total business platform and its ability to withstand a cyber attack (or any disruption), is not for everyone. There are only a few quality firms that can approach this on an all-encompassing, strategic, executive view and not just an “outside techie” firm doing a review on the technical innards of a server farm or data center.

ESTABLISHING THE “RITE” APPROACH FOR AN ENTERPRISE
Each organization’s specific strategic assets need to be assessed for their susceptibility to corporate cyber-sabotage as well as other man-made or natural disasters. Let’s look at the various parts of the internal “Platform for Commerce” that supports an enterprise.

REAL ESTATE: What and where is the land that the enterprise sits on? Are there any issues/obstacles to be aware of? (Natural or Man-made)

INFRASTRUCTURE: What is in-place/ available/ accessible to the enterprise? What is the quality/redundancy of access to transportation? Rail? Airports? Power grid and network communications?

TECHNOLOGY: What technologies “run the business”? What in-place technologies are considered “Mission Critical”? Are there redundant network carriers providing Multi-Gigabit connectivity? Where else is redundancy needed? Where is it lacking? What other cyber/connectivity intelligent amenities are being used? What is the documentation?

Has the back-up systems ever been tested? (Sounds like a dumb question but you would be surprised at how many organizations have back-up plans as well as procedures and back-up hardware, but they have never been tested by the organization.)

ENTERPRISE CRITICALITY: How many applications are considered mission critical for the enterprise? To what level are these applications backed up and duplicated? How is it being funded in both its initial and operating phases? What impact do all the applications have on the enterprise’s regional sustainability? Global competitiveness?

There are more questions to ask and metrics to measure, but this gives you a good picture as to the methodology of the strategic Enterprise Assessment Framework (EAF) of what should be happening when it comes to assessing the internal “Platform for Commerce” within an organization or corporate enterprise.

CYBER ATTACKS ARE A MATTER OF WHEN, NOT IF THEY OCCUR
Cyber attacks are on the rise. According to a recent article on http://www.securityinfowatch.com :
According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), there have been over 700 data breaches reported in the U.S. so far this year, a 26 percent increase over the same time period in 2013. Of the breaches that have been reported this year, the overwhelming majority have affected healthcare entities and businesses.

Corporate executives may not see this as a hot issue on their “Things to Do” List, but they should. This rise in cyber attacks is an indication it is going to become a “Top Five” issue with corporate CEOs and their executive staffs.

Famous last words in the mahogany CEO office suite, “This could never happen to us.”

When you look at any enterprise’s applications, you have to segregate them into various categories of criticality:
1. CRITICAL APPLICATIONS (Mission critical to the success of the enterprise. Should never be shut down or incapacitated. ALL of them should be totally redundant. (100% back-up))
2. NECESSARY APPLICATIONS (Everyday operations depend on these applications. Only a short period of Out-of-Service time can be tolerated.)
3. OPTIMAL APPLICATIONS (Could do without for a period of time. The business could still function.)

There is a shift going on now as more enterprises become more dependent on mission critical applications. Today, one out of every three applications are considered “Mission Critical” to the organizations. Moving forward, one out of every two applications will become “Mission Critical”. Design and operational heuristics must change to fit these new critical applications.

Selling products and services into this 21st century corporate “Platform for Commerce” environment requires an expertise in understanding multi-disciplinary skills and next-generation solutions. It is a multi-level sell when trying to promote new intelligent amenities for next-generation buildings, multi-venue entertainment centers, and intelligent business campuses.

With the growing threat of cyber destruction onto an enterprise’s intelligent infrastructure, CEOs cannot afford to take a wait-and-see attitude as to preventions, enterprise-wide assessments and applied security solutions. They also cannot depend on their legal or accounting advisors because those people have no real expertise in these matters. Get a broadly-focused, strategic technologist to assess your current situation.

CARLINI-ISM: When you’re sick, you don’t go to the cheapest doctor.

HIS VISIONARY BOOK AVAILABLE AT AMAZON –
http://www.amazon.com/LOCATION-CONNECTIVITY-JAMES-CARLINI/dp/0990646041/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417203910&sr=1-1&keywords=location+location+connectivity

BARNES & NOBLE
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/location-location-connectivity-james-carlini/1120585793?ean=9780990646044
Follow daily Carlini-isms at http://www.TWITTER.com/JAMESCARLINI
Copyright 2014 – James Carlini

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COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE: HOW TO MINIMIZE THE COMPETITION

banner james carlini - Carlini's CornerBy James Carlini

What amenity can a building owner or property management firm add to a building to eliminate 90% of their competition in today’s commercial real estate market? The answer: Broadband Connectivity.

This is not hype. This is not conceptual or theoretical. It is fact.

In performing research for a planning project I worked on while consulting to the DuPage Business Center, an 800-acre high-tech business park in Illinois, I found that searching for Class A space (20,000 square feet) in the surrounding area came up with a total of 60 available properties.

With that many properties offering space, it would be an easy time to get them to compete on price until the price per square foot was driven down to a very low amount. With owners hungry for a tenant, we could probably negotiate a year free on a five-year lease.

As soon as I added Broadband Connectivity (multiple gigabit speeds) to the upfront requirements for the tenant space, the amount of buildings available with that amenity dropped to five. That is over a 90% reduction in the amount of buildings available that could handle that type of request.

In that scenario, the building owner would not have to sacrifice dropping the price per square foot and could focus on more unique strengths of the property. End result: The property owner keeps up the profitability of the building and attracts the premium tenants.

20th CENTURY REAL ESTATE SOLUTIONS CANNOT SOLVE 21st CENTURY TENANT ISSUES
Hear that huge shattering sound of glass, steel and marble crashing down to the ground? That is the shattering of decades’ worth of commercial real estate concepts that don’t work anymore.

BLDG_FALLEN
The sad part is many in the Commercial Real Estate (CRE) market need to tune into this deafening thunder. The status quo has been shattered and shattered again by the implementation of WiFi. DAS and Smartphone networks into many venues. Commercial real estate needs to offer what was before a hoped for, that has become a “must-have”.

As I said in an earlier article: (http://onpurposemagazine.com/2013/02/20/defining-21st-century-real-estate-2/ )
Selling products and services into this 21st century integrated real estate environment requires an expertise in understanding multi-disciplinary skills and next-generation solutions. It is a multi-level sell when trying to promote new intelligent amenities for next-generation buildings, multi-venue entertainment centers, and intelligent business campuses.

Part of my book, Location Location Connectivity, deals with changing out Master Planning concepts. Areas of concern like power and network infrastructure services have become something to be added to the upfront planning of the property and not as some after-thought once the tenant signs the contract.

The reality is the tenant is NOT going to sign any contract unless these amenities are already present and available. When it comes to Master Planning, both power and network services have to be implemented upfront before any tenant will buy into the property.

WHAT IS IMPORTANT?
If you are into property management or ownership of Class A Buildings, do you want to eliminate the vast majority of your competition in today’s commercial real estate market? Start taking a look at implementing intelligent amenities before potential tenants require them and you have to do things in a crisis mode.

CARLINI-ISM: “When it comes to commercial real estate, those stuck with 20th century solutions will not be able to attract and maintain 21st century tenants.”

Carlini’s visionary book, Location Location Connectivity is available at Barnes & Noble. (The ISBN # 9780-9906460-44)
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/location-location-connectivity-james-carlini/1120585793

Copyright 2014 - James Carlini - All rights reserved

Copyright 2014 – James Carlini – All rights reserved

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL IS MISSION CRITICAL, ISN’T IT?

banner james carlini - Carlini's CornerBy James Carlini

The recent employee sabotage of Aurora, Illinois’ Air Traffic Control center which brought air traffic to an abrupt halt brings up some huge questions:

“Isn’t that type of control center mission critical?
– Shouldn’t a control center like that be backed up?
– Why wasn’t it backed up, especially after a 1998 GAO study said it was dangerous not to have it redundant?
– Who’s in charge?

ARE WE STILL FLYING IN THE 1930S??

ARE WE STILL FLYING IN THE 1930S??

WHAT DOES MISSION CRITICAL MEAN?

I have worked in mission critical systems and intelligent infrastructure for my whole career spanning over 35 years from Bell Laboratories designing software to run the public switched telephone network (PSTN) to working with the City of Chicago on planning and designing their Emergency 911 Center to working with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on trading floor technologies as well as overall networks connecting GLOBEX users internationally.

In addition, I have worked with more than several companies on their call centers, manufacturing and international networks which would also be considered “mission critical” because that’s where a great amount of their business came through whether it was a catalog sales company (Spiegel’s) to a major bank (Sanwa Bank) to a consumer electronics company (JVC) or a pharmaceuticals company (Abbott Labs).

Mission critical means you cannot go down. You cannot have a single point-of-failure. You cannot afford to be down for your business.

Mission critical means you need redundant power supplies, you need redundant network connections and you need redundant processing power to maintain the applications (computers and data bases that are completely duplicated)

With all that being said, whoever designed the Air Traffic Control center had to have those same types of basic design concepts when they were building this center. With something as critical as managing aircraft in the sky, you would think that you either had a fully backed-up system that the controllers to switch to OR enough back-up within the network of air traffic control centers to handle the overload caused by one or two centers going completely out on the network grid.

HOUSTON (AND CHICAGO)…………WE HAVE A PROBLEM

The May 1998 GAO Study on Air Traffic Control (ATC) Weak Computer Security Practices Jeopardizes Flight Safety (http://www.gao.gov/assets/230/225741.pdf ) concluded:

The FAA has not analyzed the threats and vulnerabilities, or developed
safeguards to protect 87 of its 90 operational ATC computer systems and 8
of its 9 operational ATC telecommunications networks.

The FAA does not have a well-defined security architecture, a security concept of operations, or security standards, and does not consistently include well- formulated security requirements in specifications for new ATC systems

The FAA has recognized for several years that its vulnerabilities could
jeopardize, and have already jeopardized, flight safety.

There are definite problems today as there were 16 years ago, so where has everyone been in the last 16 years besides collecting a check?

FROM MY UPCOMING BOOK – LOCATION LOCATION CONNECTIVITY

You need to take into consideration new network, as well as power, requirements for mission critical applications.

Most buildings need to undergo a transformation as to how they connect into the fabric of network infrastructure within the region. A single connection equates to a potential single-point-of-failure. Many building owners need to assess whether or not they want to incur the expense of adding a second route for communications into the
building.

We have to get the Air Traffic Control enters up-to-par with other mission critical buildings which support corporate (and government) applications. This should have been done over a decade ago.

CARLINI-ISM: “A single connection equates to a potential
single-point-of-failure. That being said, over 95% of buildings are then not ready for tenants who have mission critical applications which need network access.”

CARLINI-ISM: “Intelligent amenities are more important than traditional amenities. Traditional amenities are a given in commercial real estate – intelligent amenities are not.”

Copyright 2014 - James Carlini - All rights reservedCarlini’s visionary upcoming book, Location Location Connectivity will be available in October. (The ISBN # 978-0-9906460-4-4 )

He will be the Keynote Speaker at HetNet Expo on October 15th.
Details are at http://www.hetnetexpo.com/

Copyright 2014 – James Carlini — ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

NEW TECH BUILDING BLOCK : GRAPHENE

banner james carlini - Carlini's CornerBy James Carlini

Graphene is a new “semi-metal” material that is made out of carbon and has the characteristics of the hardness of a diamond, better electrical conductivity than Continue reading

ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING NEEDS BROADBAND CONNECTIVITY

banner james carlini - Carlini's CornerBy James Carlini

There is a lot of promise from the growing industry of 3D printers and manufacturing products through their use as well as new 3D scanners. This technology is providing a second industrial revolution in the United States as well as globally.

Continue reading

SYSTEMS DESIGN: STILL TRYING TO GET IT RIGHT

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By James Carlini

Systems design has come a long way.  Or has it?

Taking various organizational procedures and applications and automating them has been going on for over four decades.  Next-generation systems have been selected and implemented more than once or twice in those four decades.  Millions, if not billions, have been spent on computers, data centers, developing and training personnel, and software applications.

Initial attempts were focused on getting a software program in place and getting people to adapt to the automated system.  A lot has happened since original systems were developed, yet basic design concepts and comprehensive testing to insure quality still seem to be Continue reading

CLOUD COMPUTING INFRASTRUCTURE: THE COST OF DISRUPTION

banner james carlini - Carlini's CornerBy James Carlini

graphic the cloud network shFrom an upcoming white paper: 

Many organizations that are looking at implementing a new network infrastructure for Cloud Computing, a new building being built, or any other network capability, better look closer at their network designs.

Why?  Continue reading