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August 24, 2015

Centripetal Networks offers a fully integrated security network specializing in threat-based intelligence.  Threat intelligence is being informed about potential attacks, who creates the attacks, and how to prevent them.  Think of it as the digital version of “stranger danger.”  Centripetal Networks offers combative software using threat intelligence to prevent hacking with real-time results and tailoring for individual systems.

While Centripetal Networks peddles its software, they also share information sources that expand on threat intelligence, how it pertains to specific industries, and new developments in digital security.  Not to brag or anything, but our very own CyberOSINT: Next Generation Information Access made the news page!  Take a gander at its description:

“The RuleGate technology continues to remain the leader in speed and performance as an appliance, and its visualization and analytics tools are easy-to-use. Because of federal use and interest, its threat intelligence resources will continue to rank at the top. Cyber defense, done in this manner, is the most useful for its real time capacity and sheer speed in computing.”

CyberOSINT was written for law enforcement officials to gain and understanding of threat intelligence as well as tools they can use to arm themselves against cyber theft and track potential attacks.  It profiles companies that specialize in threat intelligence and evaluates them.  Centripetal Networks is proudly featured in the book.

Whitney Grace, August 24, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

 

 

 

Its Hacker Season

August 21, 2015

One of the quintessential cartoon feuds exists between Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck as they argue whether or not it is duck or rabbit hunting season.  Whoever wins gets the lovely prize of having their face blown off, thankfully cartoon violence does not obey the rules of life and death.  The ensuing argument ends with hilarious consequences, but everyday another type of big game is always in season: your personal information.  Hackers are constantly searching for ways to break into vulnerable systems and steal valuable information.

One a personal level it is frightening to be hacked, but corporations stand risk millions of dollars, customer information, trade secrets, and their reputations if their systems get hacked.   There are many companies that specialize in software to prevent potential hackings, but Cybereason offers unique selling points in the article, “Introducing Cybereason: Real-Time Automated Cyber Hunting.”

“This is why Cybereason exists, to bring the fight against hackers off of the frontlines and into the depths of your environment, where they lurk after gaining unnoticed access. Security needs to be about having an ever-watchful eye over your endpoints, servers, and network, and the Cybereason platform will allow you to perform real-time, automated hunting across your entire environment.”

On their Web site they posted a product video that feeds on the US’s culture of fear and they present an Armageddon like situation complete with a female voice over artist with a British accent, a Guy Fawkes mask, and Matrix-like graphics.  My favorite bit is when Cybereason is made to resemble a secret intelligence agency of superheroes.

Despite the clichéd video, it does give a thorough visualization of what Cybereason’s software and services can do.  The fear factor might be a selling point for some clients, but I’d rather hear hard facts and direct solutions.  It takes out the dramatic elements and actually tells me what the product can do for me.  You have to love Cybereason’s ending phrase, “Let the hunt begin.” It makes me want to respond with, “May the odds ever be in your favor.”

Whitney Grace, August 21, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

SharePoint May be Last Remaining on Premises Hold Out

August 18, 2015

In conversations surrounding enterprise software, the on-site vs. cloud debate is not a new one. However, it is one that is heating up. Microsoft’s announcements relating to SharePoint Server 2016 and its continued support for on-premises infrastructure definitely stoke the fires of that conversation. CIO takes on the debate in their article, “Why SharePoint is the Last Great On-Premises Application.”

The article begins:

“While it seems like almost every piece of IT is moving to cloud these days, there are still plenty of reasons to keep SharePoint in your server room – where it belongs . . . SharePoint Server is such a sticky product with tentacles everywhere in the enterprise that it may well be the last great on-premises application. Let’s explore why.”

The article goes on to delineate many reasons why on-site is still favored among IT professionals. Only time will tell if the cloud really is able to completely take over, or if the market will demand continued access to on-site solutions. Until the verdict is clear, stay on top of the latest updates on both sides of the aisle with ArnoldIT.com. Stephen E. Arnold is a lifelong leader in search, and his dedicated SharePoint feed is of particular value for SharePoint professionals.

Emily Rae Aldridge, August 18, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Thunderstone Rumbles about Webinator

August 13, 2015

There is nothing more frustrating than being unable to locate a specific piece of information on a Web site when you use its search function.  Search is supposed to be quick, accurate, and efficient.  Even if Google search is employed as a Web site’s search feature, it does not always yield the best results.  Thunderstone is a company that specializes in proprietary software application developed specifically for information management, search, retrieval, and filtering.

Thunderstone has a client list that includes, but not limited to, government agencies, Internet developer, corporations, and online service providers.  The company’s goal is to deliver “product-oriented R&D within the area of advanced information management and retrieval,” which translates to them wanting to help their clients found information very, very fast and as accurately as possible.  It is the premise of most information management companies.  On the company blog it was announced that, “Thunderstone Releases Webinator Web Index And Retrieval System Version 13.”  Webinator makes it easier to integrate high quality search into a Web site and it has several new appealing features:

  • “Query Autocomplete, guides your users to the search they want
  • HTML Highlighting, lets users see the results in the original HTML for better contextual information
  • Expanded XML/SOAP API allows integration of administrative interface”

We like the HTML highlighting that offers users the ability to backtrack and see a page’s original information source. It is very similar to old-fashioned research: go back to the original source to check a fact’s veracity.

Whitney Grace, August 13, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Google Seeks SEO Pro

August 12, 2015

Well, isn’t this interesting. Search Engine Land tells us that “Google Is Hiring an SEO Manager to Improve its Rankings in Google.” The Goog’s system is so objective, even Google needs a search engine optimization expert! That must be news to certain parties in the European Union.

Reporter Barry Schwartz spotted the relevant job posting at the company’s Careers page. Responsibilities are as one might expect: develop and maintain websites; maintain and develop code that will engage search engines; keep up with the latest in SEO techniques; and work with the sales and development departments to implement SEO best practices. Coordination with the search-algorithm department is not mentioned.

Google still stands as one of the most sought-after employers, so it is no surprise they require a lot of anyone hoping to fill the position. Schwartz notes, though, that link-building experience is not specified. He shares the list of criteria:

“The qualifications include:

*BA/BS degree in Computer Science, Engineering or equivalent practical experience.

*4 years of experience developing websites and applications with SQL, HTML5, and XML.

*2 years of SEO experience.

*Experience with Google App Engine, Google Custom Search, Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics and experience creating and maintaining project schedules using project management systems.

*Experience working with back-end SEO elements such as .htaccess, robots.txt, metadata and site speed optimization to optimize website performance.

*Experience in quantifying marketing impact and SEO performance and strong understanding of technical SEO (sitemaps, crawl budget, canonicalization, etc.).

*Knowledge of one or more of the following: Java, C/C++, or Python.

*Excellent problem solving and analytical skills with the ability to dig extensively into metrics and analytics.”

Lest anyone doubt the existence of such an ironic opportunity, the post reproduces a screenshot of the advertisement, “just in case the job is pulled.”

Cynthia Murrell, August 12, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Teper Returns to SharePoint Division

August 11, 2015

SharePoint is a huge organization within the even larger corporation of Microsoft. Leaderships shifts are not uncommon, but they can often point toward something meaningful. The Seattle Times offers some insight into Microsoft’s latest shake-up in their article, “Microsoft Exec Teper Exits Strategy Role, Returns to Sharepoint.”

The article sums up the leadership change:

“Jeff Teper, Microsoft’s former head of corporate strategy, will return to the Office division he left a year ago. Teper, a longtime Office executive, shifted last year to corporate vice president of strategy, reporting to Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood. In April, he moved to Kurt DelBene’s team when that former Microsoft executive returned to the company to lead corporate strategy and planning.”

Teper’s earlier career is telling, as he led Microsoft’s move to Office 365. With the upcoming release of SharePoint Server 2016, users have been assured that on-premises versions will remain an option but that web-based services, including Office 365 features, will continue to shine. For continued updates on the future of SharePoint, stay tuned to the dedicated SharePoint feed on ArnoldIT.com. Stephen E. Arnold has made a career out of search and his work offers a lot of information without a huge investment in time.

Emily Rae Aldridge, August 11, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Finnish Content Discovery Case Study

July 31, 2015

There are many services that offer companies the ability to increase their content discover.  One of these services is Leiki, which offers intelligent user profiling, context-based intelligence, and semantic SaaS solutions.  Rather than having humans adapt their content to get to the top of search engine results, the machine is altered to fit a human’s needs.  Leiki pushes relevant content to a user’s search query.  Leiki released a recent, “Case Study: Lieki Smart Services Increase Customer Flow Significantly At Alma Media.”

Alma Media is one of the largest media companies in Finland, owning many well-known Finnish brands.  These include Finland’s most popular Web site, classified ads, and a tabloid newspaper.  Alma Media employed two of Leiki’s services to grow its traffic:

“Leiki’s Smart Services are adept at understanding textual content across various content types: articles, video, images, classifieds, etc. Each content item is analyzed with our semantic engine Leiki Focus to create a very detailed “fingerprint” or content profile of topics associated with the content.

SmartContext is the market leading service for contextual content recommendations. It’s uniquely able to recommend content across content types and sites and does this by finding related content using the meaning of content – not keyword frequency.

SmartPersonal stands for behavioral content recommendations. As it also uses Leiki’s unique analysis of the meaning in content, it can recommend content from any other site and content type based on usage of one site.”

The case study runs down how Leiki’s services improved traffic and encouraged more users to consume its content. Leiki’s main selling point in the cast study is that offers users personal recommendations based on content they clicked on Alma Media Web sites.  Leiki wants to be a part of developing Web 3.0 and the research shows that personalization is the way for it to go.

Whitney Grace, July 31, 2015
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

On Embedding Valuable Outside Links

July 21, 2015

If media websites take this suggestion from an article at Monday Note, titled “How Linking to Knowledge Could Boost News Media,” there will be no need to search; we’ll just follow the yellow brick links. Writer Frederic Filloux laments the current state of affairs, wherein websites mostly link to internal content, and describes how embedded links could be much, much more valuable. He describes:

“Now picture this: A hypothetical big-issue story about GE’s strategic climate change thinking, published in the Wall Street Journal, the FT, or in The Atlantic, suddenly opens to a vast web of knowledge. The text (along with graphics, videos, etc.) provided by the news media staff, is amplified by access to three books on global warming, two Ted Talks, several databases containing references to places and people mentioned in the story, an academic paper from Knowledge@Wharton, a MOOC from Coursera, a survey from a Scandinavian research institute, a National Geographic documentary, etc. Since (supposedly), all of the above is semanticized and speaks the same lingua franca as the original journalistic content, the process is largely automatized.”

Filloux posits that such a trend would be valuable not only for today’s Web surfers, but also for future historians and researchers. He cites recent work by a couple of French scholars, Fabian Suchanek and Nicoleta Preda, who have been looking into what they call “Semantic Culturonomics,” defined as “a paradigm that uses semantic knowledge bases in order to give meaning to textual corpora such as news and social media.” Web media that keeps this paradigm in mind will wildly surpass newspapers in the role of contemporary historical documentation, because good outside links will greatly enrich the content.

Before this vision becomes reality, though, media websites must be convinced that linking to valuable content outside their site is worth the risk that users will wander away. The write-up insists that a reputation for providing valuable outside links will more than make up for any amount of such drifting visitors. We’ll see whether media sites agree.

Cynthia Murrell, July 21, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

On Embedding Valuable Outside Links

July 17, 2015

If media websites take this suggestion from an article at Monday Note, titled “How Linking to Knowledge Could Boost News Media,” there will be no need to search; we’ll just follow the yellow brick links. Writer Frederic Filloux laments the current state of affairs, wherein websites mostly link to internal content, and describes how embedded links could be much, much more valuable. He describes:

“Now picture this: A hypothetical big-issue story about GE’s strategic climate change thinking, published in the Wall Street Journal, the FT, or in The Atlantic, suddenly opens to a vast web of knowledge. The text (along with graphics, videos, etc.) provided by the news media staff, is amplified by access to three books on global warming, two Ted Talks, several databases containing references to places and people mentioned in the story, an academic paper from Knowledge@Wharton, a MOOC from Coursera, a survey from a Scandinavian research institute, a National Geographic documentary, etc. Since (supposedly), all of the above is semanticized and speaks the same lingua franca as the original journalistic content, the process is largely automatized.”

Filloux posits that such a trend would be valuable not only for today’s Web surfers, but also for future historians and researchers. He cites recent work by a couple of French scholars, Fabian Suchanek and Nicoleta Preda, who have been looking into what they call “Semantic Culturonomics,” defined as “a paradigm that uses semantic knowledge bases in order to give meaning to textual corpora such as news and social media.” Web media that keeps this paradigm in mind will wildly surpass newspapers in the role of contemporary historical documentation, because good outside links will greatly enrich the content.

Before this vision becomes reality, though, media websites must be convinced that linking to valuable content outside their site is worth the risk that users will wander away. The write-up insists that a reputation for providing valuable outside links will more than make up for any amount of such drifting visitors. We’ll see whether media sites agree.

Cynthia Murrell, July 17, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

How Not to Drive Users Away from a Website

July 15, 2015

Writer and web psychologist Liraz Margalit at the Next Web has some important advice for websites in “The Psychology Behind Web Browsing.” Apparently, paying attention to human behavioral tendencies can help webmasters avoid certain pitfalls that could damage their brands. Imagine that!

The article cites a problem an unspecified news site encountered when it tried to build interest in its videos by making them play automatically when a user navigated to their homepage. I suspect I know who they’re talking about, and I recall thinking at the time, “how rude!” I thought it was just because I didn’t want to be chastised by people near me for suddenly blaring a news video. According to Margalit, though, my problem goes much deeper: It’s an issue of control rooted in pre-history. She writes:

“The first humans had to be constantly on alert for changes in their environment, because unexpected sounds or sights meant only one thing: danger. When we click on a website hoping to read an article and instead are confronted with a loud, bright video, the automatic response is not so different from that our prehistoric ancestors, walking in the forest and stumbling upon a bear or a saber-toothed hyena.”

This need for safety has morphed into a need for control; we do not like to be startled or lost. When browsing the Web, we want to encounter what we expect to encounter (perhaps not in terms of content, but certainly in terms of format.) The name for this is the “expectation factor,” and an abrupt assault on the senses is not the only pitfall to be avoided. Getting lost in an endless scroll can also be disturbing; that’s why those floating menus, that follow you as you move down the page, were invented. Margalit  notes:

“Visitors like to think they are in charge of their actions. When a video plays without visitors initiating any interaction, they feel the opposite. If a visitor feels that a website is trying to ‘sell’ them something, or push them into viewing certain content without permission, they will resist by trying to take back the interaction and intentionally avoid that content.”

And that, of course, is the opposite of what websites want, so giving users the control they expect is a smart business move. Besides, it’s only polite to ask before engaging a visitor’s Adobe Flash or, especially, speakers.

Cynthia Murrell, July 15, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

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