Archive | June 3, 2016

An update from our 2016 Associates

First of all I would like to thank Hollie for the previous blog.  The Services University was a great day and I’m sure everyone else enjoyed it just as much as I did.

I can hardly believe that I have already been at Computacenter for almost 5 months.  Everyone said the time would fly by and believe me it has.  It seems like only yesterday that we arrived, in our new suits, on January the 11th.  When I said to my friends that I was becoming a Service Management Associate, I got a sea of blank faces.  Even now I’m not sure they really know what I do!  I think this is down to the fact that you can never really know what day you are going to have when you turn up at the office.  This is what I really like about this job.  The variety.

So before I carry on to tell you about my time so far at Computacenter, I will tell you a little bit about myself.  Prior to starting at Computacenter, I lived in both Germany and the Netherlands before completing my degree in London.  I recently returned from a 5 month backpacking trip through Asia and Australasia.  So stepping into the Associate Programme was certainly stepping into the unknown!

But one of the really great things about working for Computacenter is you don’t necessarily have to have an IT background.  All of us Service Management Associates have varying degrees and backgrounds from History to Geography.  But this doesn’t hinder, rather enhance discussions and conversations.  It is also nice to know that you are not the only one who is learning about the difference between Linux and Unix or Mainframes and Iseries.

TFL logo

All of us Service Management Associates are now on our second Home Account Rotation.  We have all been placed on varying accounts.  Myself on TFL and others on accounts such as NHS Worcester, UBS and VISA.  Although these are all very varied accounts, I think all of us would agree that it is nice to be getting our hands dirty and learning more about what it will be like to become a Service Manager at the end of the Associate Programme.

I have really enjoyed the time that I have spent so far on TfL.  I am able to get involved in the day to day events that take place on the account.  From the daily service reviews to implementing new reporting methods.  It is great to feel part of the team and put some of the theory that I have learnt into practice.  Even though I am on the same account for a couple of weeks I am still learning from different areas, from the scheduling function, to the engineering function and also from different service providers on the account.

How could I complain whilst working in a location with this for a view?!

view

Whilst talking to other graduates on similar service management programmes this afternoon, I realised what an opportunity we have with Computacenter.  We are lucky enough to be able to rotate around not only different accounts but also different areas of the business, meaning 18 months down the line when we become Service Managers, we really do understand the internal processes.  We are able to learn from all of the people that we meet and build those all-important relationships for the future.

We have one week left on our home account rotations, before moving on to our Commercial and Governance Rotation.  I am looking forward to learning about a new area of Computacenter and how this will help me in the future.  Furthermore it will give all of us Service Management Associates a chance to work together again.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, next month we will hear from Alex Griffin.

 

There will never be “silence” in the information security world – nor should there be !!

“There will never be “silence” in the information security world.”

As the world at large reluctantly accepts digital data flows are fast becoming as important as air (ok, that’s stretching the concept slightly but it’s not completely outlandish), protection of those data flows becomes as important as protecting any other key to life. But every day new threats appear, new security challenges become apparent and our attempts to keep them at bay continue to look futile.

Today news of a Stuxnet clone has surfaced that seems to expose links to the now infamous malware that affected SCADA industrial control systems – how long it has existed or evidence of compromise is unknown. IBM researchers have discovered increased coverage of the mobile banking malware Marcher, thus increasing the target landscape of unsuspecting mobile users who may succumb to fictitious notification of funds availability. And the ever present curse of zero day, is again top of mind with Trustwave researchers highlighting as many as 1.5 billion unpatched devices may be vulnerable to a recently discovered Microsoft exploit.

I have highlighted just a few of the ongoing public announcements of security threat and compromise, a full chronicle would be never ending as new information appears in real time minute by minute. Emotionally, some may deem defence against attack a battle that cannot be won with strong evidence to support the point but that is potentially an over simplification. Fundamental security principles and good practice, no different from those applied in non-information technology arenas will help thwart attacks, increase awareness and visibility of an attack in process and accelerate remediation after attack (plus signpost future steps to realise better defence).

I started this outline with a view there will never be “silence” in the security world and for me long may that continue. Both users and organisations should adopt a state of ongoing vigilance, zero complacency and never believe the security problem is solved or the battle won. By getting the basics right, improving understanding of known good states, increasing visibility and measurement of the changes of state from known states (or the highlight of unknown or inconsistent states) and a pragmatic approach to defence based on prioritisation of the “noise” beyond the silence will help to drive positive security solutions rather than signify problems.

Want to know more, keen to rethink security – visit the Computacenter team at Infosec Europe at Olympia London from Tuesday 7th June to Thursday 9th June, stand #E295. We look forward to hosting you and will have a team of business and technology aware security specialists available to discuss security impacts – your way. I hope to see you there.

Until Infosec at Olympia

Colin W

Twitter @colinwccuk

Chief Technologist: Networking, Security and Collaboration