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Protecting Privileged Identities In A Post-COVID-19 World

Protecting Privileged Identities In A Post-COVID-19 World

Bottom Line: Every organization needs to digitally reinvent their business, starting at the system level to safely sell and serve customers with minimal physical interaction.

The hard reset every business is going through creates a strong sense of urgency to increase the agility, speed, and scale of selling, as well as customer service options that protect the health of employees, customers, and partners. Customer experience needs to be the cornerstone of digital transformation, with the customers’ health and welfare being the highest priority. Businesses need to realize that digitally reinventing themselves is no longer optional. Every customer-facing system is going to need the best infrastructure, security, and stability for any business to survive and grow.

Securing Infrastructure Needs To Come First

COVID-19 was a wake-up call that companies need to operate as multi-channel players, allowing for physical but, more importantly, virtual presence. For instance, in retail, only those that will step up their efforts in building on-line ordering and associated nation-wide logistics networks will survive in the longer-term. If the cloud was considered an option in the past, it now is mandatory. In turn, the need for security has increased.

Starting with infrastructure, hybrid- and multi-cloud environments need to be augmented with additional system support, new apps, and greater security to support the always-on nature of competing in a virtual world. Providing self-service sales and support across any device at any time and keeping all systems synchronized is going to take more real-time integration, better security, more precise pricing, and so much more.

Consumer electronics manufacturers’ biggest challenge is reinventing their infrastructure while selling and serving customers at the same time. Part of their biggest challenge is protecting privileged access credentials that have become fragmented across hybrid- and multi-cloud environments. Everyone I’ve spoken with is balancing the urgent need for new revenue through new channels on the one hand with intensity to secure infrastructure and the most valuable security assets of all, privileged access credentials.

According to a 2019 study by Centrify among 1,000 IT decision-makers, 74% of respondents whose organizations have been breached acknowledged that it involved access to a privileged account. These are typically used by a small set of technical personnel to access the most critical systems in the IT estate, including modern technologies such as cloud, DevOps, microservices, and more. The CIO of a local financial services and insurance company, who is a former student and friend, told me that “it’s often said that privileged access credentials are the keys to the kingdom, and in these turbulent times they’re the keys to keeping any business running.”

CIOs, CISOs, and their teams are focusing on four key areas today while digitally reinventing themselves to provide more flexible options for customers:

  • Secure every new self-service selling and service channel from breaches.
  • Fast-track cloud projects to become 100% virtual and available.
  • Simplify infrastructure management by integrating IT and Operations Management across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.
  • Improve compliance reporting as well as reduce audit costs and associated fines.

Legacy Privileged Access Management (PAM) Can’t Scale For Today’s Threats

Sophisticated social engineering and breach attempts are succeeding in misdirecting human responses to cyber threats, gaining access to valuable privileged access credentials in the process. Legacy PAM systems based on vaulting away shared and root passwords aren’t designed to protect hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments. These DevOps systems include containers and microservices, APIs, machines, or services. Furthermore, multi-cloud environments create additional challenges because access management tools used for one vendor cannot be used with another.

Switching from in-person to self-service selling and service creates new challenges and an entirely new series of requirements for identity and access management. These requirements include securing a continually-increasing number of workloads that cause the amount of data in the cloud to grow exponentially. There’s also the need to centralize identities for consistent access controls across hybrid and multi-cloud environments – all happening while a business is busy digitally reinventing itself. Compounding all of these challenges is the need to excel at delivering an excellent user experience without sacrificing security in an increasingly self-service, always-on, 24/7 world.

Securing Privileged Access In A Post-COVID-19 World

If you’re looking for a sure sign any business will be around and growing in twelve months, look at how fast they are digitally reinventing themselves at the infrastructure level and protecting privileged access credentials first. Digital-first businesses are taking a more adaptive approach to consistently controlling access to hybrid infrastructure for both on-premises and remote users now.

Centrify and others are making rapid progress in this area, with Centrify’s Identity-Centric PAM taking a “never trust, always verify, enforce least privilege” approach to securing privileged identities. Centrify’s approach to Identity-Centric PAM establishes per-machine trust so it can defend itself from illegitimate users – whether human or machine  – or those without the right entitlements. It then grants least privilege access just-in-time based on verifying who is requesting access, the context of the request, and the risk of the access environment as is illustrated in the graphic below:

Protecting Privileged Identities In A Post-COVID-19 World

Conclusion

Improving customer experiences needs to be at the center of any digital transformation effort. As every business digitally transforms itself to survive and grow in a post-COVID-19 world out of necessity, they must also improve how they secure access to their cloud and on-premises infrastructure. Legacy PAM was designed for a time when all privileged access was constrained to resources inside the network, accessed by humans, using shared/root accounts.

Legacy PAM was not designed for cloud environments, DevOps, containers, or microservices. Furthermore, privileged access requesters are no longer limited to just humans, but also include machines, services, and APIs.

Privileged access requesters need greater agility, adaptability, and speed to support DevOps’ growing roadmap of self-service and increasingly safer apps and platforms. While privileged identities must be protected, DevOps teams need as much agility and speed as possible to innovate at the rapidly changing pace of how customers choose to buy in a post-COVID-19 world.

Six Areas Where AI Is Improving Customer Experiences

Six Areas Where AI Is Improving Customer Experiences

Bottom Line: This year’s hard reset is amplifying how vital customer relationships are and how much potential AI has to find new ways to improve them.

  • 30% of customers will leave a brand and never come back because of a bad experience.
  • 27% of companies say improving their customer intelligence and data efforts are their highest priority when it comes to customer experience (CX).
  • By 2023, 30% of customer service organizations will deliver proactive customer services by using AI-enabled process orchestration and continuous intelligence, according to Gartner.
  • $13.9B was invested in CX-focused AI and $42.7B in CX-focused Big Data and analytics in 2019, with both expected to grow to $90B in 2022, according to IDC.

The hard reset every company is going through today is making senior management teams re-evaluate every line item and expense, especially in marketing. Spending on Customer Experience is getting re-evaluated as are supporting AI, analytics, business intelligence (BI), and machine learning projects and spending. Marketers able to quantify their contributions to revenue gains are succeeding the most at defending their budgets.

Fundamentals of CX Economics

Knowing if and by how much CX initiatives and strategies are paying off has been elusive. Fortunately, there are a variety of benchmarks and supporting methodologies being developed that contextualize the contribution of CX. KPMG’s recent study, How Much Is Customer Experience Worth? provides guidance in the areas of CX and its supporting economics. The following table provides an overview of key financial measures’ interrelationships with CX. The table below summarizes their findings:

The KPMG study also found that failing to meet customer expectations is two times more destructive than exceeding them. That’s a powerful argument for having AI and machine learning ingrained into CX company-wide. The following graphic quantifies the economic value of improving CX:

Six Areas Where AI Is Improving Customer Experiences

 

Where AI Is Improving CX

For AI projects to make it through the budgeting crucible that the COVID-19 pandemic has created, they’re going to have to show a contribution to revenue, cost reduction, and improved customer experiences in a contactless world. Add in the need for any CX strategy to be on a resilient, proven platform and the future of marketing comes into focus. Examples of platforms and customer-centric digital transformation networks that can help re-center an organization on data- and AI-driven customer insights include BMC’s Autonomous Digital Enterprise (ADE) and others. The framework is differentiated from many others in how it is designed to capitalize on AI and Machine Learning’s core strengths to improve every aspect of the customer (CX) and  employee experience (EX). BMC believes that providing employees with the digital resources they need to excel at their jobs also delivers excellent customer experiences.

Having worked my way through college in customer service roles, I can attest to how valuable having the right digital resources are for serving customers What I like about their framework is how they’re trying to go beyond just satisfying customers, they’re wanting to delight them. BMC calls this delivering a transcendent customer experience. From my collegiate career doing customer service, I recall the e-mails delighted customers sent to my bosses that would be posted along a wall in our offices. In customer service and customer experience, you get what you give. Having customer service reps like my younger self on the front line able to get resources and support they need to deliver more authentic and responsive support is key. I see BMC’s ADE doing the same by ensuring a scalable CX strategy that retains its authenticity even as response times shrink and customer volume increases.

The following are six ways AI can improve customer experiences:

  • Improving contactless personalized customer care is considered one of the most valuable areas where AI is improving customer experiences. These “need to do” marketing areas have the highest complexity and highest benefit. Marketers haven’t been putting as much emphasis on the “must do” areas of high benefit and low complexity, according to Capgemini’s analysis. These application areas include Chatbots and virtual assistants, reducing revenue churn, facial recognition and product and services recommendations. Source:  Turning AI into concrete value: the successful implementers’ toolkit, Capgemini Consulting. (PDF, 28 pp).

Six Areas Where AI Is Improving Customer Experiences

  • Anticipating and predicting how each customers’ preferences of where, when, and what they will buy will change and removing roadblocks well ahead of time for them. Reducing the friction customers face when they’re attempting to buy within a channel they’ve never purchased through before can’t be left to chance. Using augmented, predictive analytics to generate insights in real-time to customize the marketing mix for every individual Customer improves sales funnels, preserves margins, and can increase sales velocity.
  • Knowing which customer touchpoints are the most and least effective in improving CX and driving repurchase rates. Successfully using AI to improve CX needs to be based on data from all trackable channels that prospects and customers interact with. Digital touchpoints, including mobile app usage, social media, and website visits, all need to be aggregated into data sets ML algorithms to use to learn more about every Customer continually and anticipate which touchpoint is the most valuable to them and why. Knowing how touchpoints stack up from a customer’s point of view immediately says which channels are doing well and which need improvement.
  • Recruiting new customer segments by using CX improvements to gain them as prospects and then convert them to customers. AI and ML have been used for customer segmentation for years. Online retailers are using AI to identify which CX enhancements on their mobile apps, websites, and customer care systems are the most likely to attract new customers.
  • Retailers are combining personalization, AI-based pattern matching, and product-based recommendation engines in their mobile apps enabling shoppers to try on garments they’re interested in buying virtually. Machine learning excels at pattern recognition, and AI is well-suited for fine-tuning recommendation engines, which are together leading to a new generation of shopping apps where customers can virtually try on any garment. The app learns what shoppers most prefer and also evaluates image quality in real-time, and then recommends either purchase online or in a store. Source: Capgemini, Building The Retail Superstar: How unleashing AI across functions offers a multi-billion dollar opportunity.

Six Areas Where AI Is Improving Customer Experiences

  • Relying on AI to best understand customers and redefine IT and Operations Management infrastructure to support them is a true test of how customer-centric a business is. Digital transformation networks need to support every touchpoint of the customer experience. They must have AI and ML designed to anticipate customer needs and deliver the goods and services required at the right time, via the Customer’s preferred channel. BMC’s Autonomous Digital Enterprise Framework is a case in point. Source: Cognizant, The 2020 Customer Experience.

Six Areas Where AI Is Improving Customer Experiences

Additional Resources

4 Ways to Use Machine Learning in Marketing Automation, Medium, March 30, 2017

84 percent of B2C marketing organizations are implementing or expanding AI in 2018. Infographic. Amplero.

AI, Machine Learning, and their Application for Growth, Adelyn Zhou. SlideShare/LinkedIn. Feb. 8, 2018.

AI: The Next Generation of Marketing Driving Competitive Advantage throughout the Customer Life Cycle (PDF, 10 pp., no opt-in), Forrester, February 2017.

Artificial Intelligence for Marketers 2018: Finding Value beyond the Hype, eMarketer. (PDF, 20 pp., no opt-in). October 2017

Artificial Intelligence: The Next Frontier? McKinsey Global Institute (PDF, 80 pp., no opt-in)

Artificial Intelligence: The Ultimate Technological Disruption Ascends, Woodside Capital Partners. (PDF, 111 pp., no opt-in). January 2017.

AWS Announces Amazon Machine Learning Solutions Lab, Marketing Technology Insights

B2B Predictive Marketing Analytics Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide, (PDF, 36 pp., no opt-in) Marketing Land Research Report.

Campbell, C., Sands, S., Ferraro, C., Tsao, H. Y. J., & Mavrommatis, A. (2020). From data to action: How marketers can leverage AI. Business Horizons, 63(2), 227-243.

David Simchi-Levi

Earley, S. (2017). The Problem of Personalization: AI-Driven Analytics at Scale. IT Professional, 19(6), 74-80.

Four Use Cases of Machine Learning in Marketing, June 28, 2018, Martech Advisor,

Gacanin, H., & Wagner, M. (2019). Artificial intelligence paradigm for customer experience management in next-generation networks: Challenges and perspectives. IEEE Network, 33(2), 188-194.

Hildebrand, C., & Bergner, A. (2019). AI-Driven Sales Automation: Using Chatbots to Boost Sales. NIM Marketing Intelligence Review11(2), 36-41.

How Machine Learning Helps Sales Success (PDF, 12 pp., no opt-in) Cognizant

Inside Salesforce Einstein Artificial Intelligence A Look at Salesforce Einstein Capabilities, Use Cases and Challenges, Doug Henschen, Constellation Research, February 15, 2017

Kaczmarek, J., & Ryżko, D. (2009). Quantifying and optimising user experience: Adapting AI methodologies for Customer Experience Management.

KPMG, Customer first. Customer obsessed. Global Customer Experience Excellence report, 2019 (92 pp., PDF)

Machine Learning for Marketers (PDF, 91 pp., no opt-in) iPullRank

Machine Learning Marketing – Expert Consensus of 51 Executives and Startups, TechEmergence.

Marketing & Sales Big Data, Analytics, and the Future of Marketing & Sales, (PDF, 60 pp., no opt-in), McKinsey & Company.

OpenText, AI in customer experience improves loyalty and retention (11 pp., PDF)

Sizing the prize – What’s the real value of AI for your business and how can you capitalize? (PDF, 32 pp., no opt-in) Pw

The New Frontier of Price Optimization, MIT Technology Review. September 07, 2017.

The Power Of Customer Context, Forrester (PDF, 20 pp., no opt-in) Carlton A. Doty, April 14, 2014. Provided courtesy of Pegasystems.

Turning AI into concrete value: the successful implementers’ toolkit, Capgemini Consulting

Using machine learning for insurance pricing optimization, Google Cloud Big Data and Machine Learning Blog,

What Marketers Can Expect from AI in 2018, Jacob Shama. Mintigo. January 16, 2018.

Machines Protecting Themselves Is The Future Of Cybersecurity

Machines Protecting Themselves Is The Future Of Cybersecurity

Bottom Line: Existing approaches to securing IT infrastructure are proving unreliable as social engineering and breach attempts succeed in misdirecting human responses to cyber threats, accentuating the need for machines to protect themselves.

Any nations’ digital infrastructure and the businesses it supports are its most vital technology resources, as the COVID-19 pandemic makes clear. Cybercriminal and advanced persistent threat (APT) groups are attempting to capitalize on the disruption that COVID-19 is creating to engage in malicious cyber activity. It’s become so severe that the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) issued a joint alert, COVID-19 Exploited by Malicious Cyber Actors earlier this month.

“If you’re in the Department of Defense, your doctrine says land, sea, air, space, cyber. An entirely new domain of warfare, but fundamentally, an entirely new domain of human existence. That’s really disruptive,” said General Michael Hayden during his keynote at the 2017 Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT) Winter Summit. General Hayden’s comments are prescient of the world in 2020.

In the same keynote, he said that it’s essential that cyber-threats and the actors carrying them out be treated as invading armies and cyber-attacks be considered an act of war. “We self-organize and use business models to guide our self-organization,” General Hayden said. “We will have to rely on ourselves and the private sector in a way that we have not relied on ourselves for security.”

General Hayden’s’ comments are a call to action to the private sector to take the initiative and innovate quickly to secure the cyber-domain. Machines protecting themselves is an area noteworthy for its innovative technologies for securing IT infrastructures and the networks that comprise them.

Exploring An Approach to How Machines Protect Themselves

Wanting to learn more about how machines would be able to protect themselves automatically, I spoke with Centrify’s Chief Strategy Officer, David McNeely. He explained that one of the best ways is to have a client that is an integral part of any operating system act as an intermediary that establishes a trusted identity for each client system on a network. The client would then be able to authenticate every login attempt and request for resources by verifying each login through an authoritive security management platform such as Active Directory (AD).

McNeely explained how Centrify’s approach to having machines protect themselves using clients integrated with operating systems. “The client is designed to enable the computer to authenticate users. It must have a trusted relationship with the authoritative identity service in the organization that manages user accounts, this is usually Active Directory. The computer account and trust relationship is what enables strong authentication of user login requests” he said.

He continued, “Self-defending machines address the paradigm shift occurring in cybersecurity today where protection cannot be enforced at the network boundary. In the past, trusted networks were defined by administrators using network protection tools such as VLANs, firewalls and VPNs in order to protect a group of machines on that network. With self-defending machines, it’s possible to implement a true Zero Trust approach more fully where the network cannot be trusted.”

The following is a graphic of how Centrify is approaching machine-to-machine Zero Trust across distributed environments:

Machines Protecting Themselves Is The Future Of Cybersecurity

Centrify’s approach is based on servers protecting themselves by enforcing a policy defined by IT administrators as stored in Active Directory (AD) or Centrify’s Privileged Access Service. Clients then carry out the orders, enforcing centrally managed policies for each of the following scenarios:

  • Define who can login, making sure only authorized personnel are allowed access.
  • Whether clients should initiate the process of enforcing MFA or not, to make sure the login attempt isn’t a bot, fake ID, or incorrect human.
  • Whether audit is required or not of the login session and if so, what conditions define if it should be recorded or not.
  • Which privileges are granted to each user and for how long once they’ve gained access to systems.

Why The NIST 800-207 Standard Matters

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has defined Zero Trust architecture as a set of guiding principles that organizations can use to improve their security posture. You can view the publication online here: NIST Zero Trust Special Publication 800-207, Zero Trust Architecture (PDF, 58 pp., no opt-in).

Organizations need to continually evaluate their existing cybersecurity defenses in light of the Tenets of Zero Trust in order to continually improve their security postures. The NIST standard underscores the importance of how security architecture matters. For example, defenses to protect assets need to be as close to the asset as possible, much like in a war. In this new era of cyberwarfare, soldiers will need their own body armor and tools to defend against an adversary. Similarly, it is important to arm each server with appropriate defenses to protect against cyberthreats.

Conclusion

General Hayden’s challenge to private industry to pick up the pace of innovation so the nations’ cyber-domain is secure resonates with every cybersecurity company I’ve spoken with. One of the most noteworthy is Centrify, who has devised an enterprise-ready approach for machines to protect themselves across infrastructure and network configurations. It’s Identity-Centric approach to authenticating every login attempt and request for resources by verifying each login – through Active Directory (AD) or the cloud-based, FedRAMP-authorized Centrify Privileged Access Service – differentiates its approach from other cybersecurity vendors attempting to empower machine self-defense.

 

Remote Recruiting In A Post COVID-19 World

Remote Recruiting In A Post COVID-19 World

Bottom Line: Virtual career fairs and events, fully-remote recruiting, more personalized career paths, and greater insights into candidate experiences are quickly becoming the new normal in a post-COVID-19 world.

The COVID-19 pandemic is quickly changing how every organization is attracting, recruiting, and retaining employees on their virtual teams, making remote work the new normal. Recruiting systems, Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), and talent management systems were designed for one-on-one personal interactions, not virtual ones. Legacy Human Resource Management (HRM) systems are already showing signs of not being able to scale and meet the challenges of the brave, new post-COVID-19 world. The majority of legacy systems are built for transaction scale and can’t see candidate potential. Closing the gaps between legacy talent management systems and new virtual event recruiting and AI-based talent management platforms are changing that by putting candidate potential at the center of their architectures.

Closing The Virtual Event Recruiting Gap Needs To Happen First

Many organizations during this time of year prioritize recruiting the best and brightest college seniors they can attract during in-person interviews on campus. That’s no longer an option today. College recruiters are resorting to individual Skype or Zoom sessions with candidates while attempting to keep track of interviews the best they can with Excel, Google Sheets, and e-mail. Recruiters trying to recruit for mid-level and senior positions are under increasing pressure from hiring managers to arrange interviews with the highest quality candidates possible.

Seeing an opportunity to help organizations find, engage, and recruit using online events, Eightfold.ai has created and launched Virtual Event Recruiting. Eightfold.ai is best-known for its Talent Intelligence Platform™, the first AI-powered solution and most effective way for companies to identify promising candidates, reach diversity hiring goals, retain top performers, and engage talent. Eightfold.ai’s recent webinar How To Hold Virtual Recruiting Events is worth checking out if you’re interested in how Virtual Event Recruiting is evolving..

What Does Success Look Like In Virtual Event Recruiting?

The table stakes for any Virtual Event Recruiting solution need include support for students just starting their careers, veterans, return-to-work mothers, and experienced professionals. For a solution to be effective, it also needs to enable companies and job seekers to connect, giving companies greater scale than is possible for physical recruiting events. Ideally, any virtual event recruiting system needs to provide the following:

  • The ability to upload resume books and use AI to find the highest quality matches for open positions in real-time. Machine learning algorithms excel at pattern matching and can save recruiters thousands of hours of drudgery by immediately seeing the highest quality matches for open positions.
  • Provide a planning center that also serves a company’s specific talent community and provide tools to grow it by tailoring events to their specific interests while seeking the best-qualified candidates for open positions. Creating, launching, and tracking recruiting campaigns from the same dashboard that tracks invitations, registrations, and open positions being filled gives recruiters the end-to-end visibility they need to succeed with a virtual event. It’s important to have Assessments included in every virtual event to measure candidates’ experiences and see what’s going well and which areas need to improve. The following is an example of what Eightfold’s planning center looks like:

Remote Recruiting In a Post COVID-19 World

  • Rely on AI to match high-potential candidates with the best possible virtual events to increase opt-in and participation rates. For a virtual event recruiting solution to be effective, high-potential candidates need to be matched with positions they will most excel in. A first step to making this happen is using AI to understand every candidate’s strengths and inviting them to the virtual events that will help them the most in choosing the best position given their potential.

Remote Recruiting In a Post COVID-19 World

  • Guide candidates to the positions that best match their existing capabilities and future potential. Instead of relying on keyword matching from resumes alone, virtual event recruiting applications need to suggest those positions high-potential candidates have the greatest potential to excel at. Using AI to combine all available data on a candidate, so their existing capabilities and future potential are taken into account is key to making more successful hires. Integrating job recommendations with virtual event recruiting is a must-have for any organization looking to add staff in 2020 and beyond.

Remote Recruiting In a Post COVID-19 World

  • After the virtual event, all potential candidates for an open position need to be stacked-ranked so recruiters can prioritize who they contact. By providing personalization at scale to every candidate by providing them recommendations for the positions they are the strongest match for, recruiters will find following-up is easier to accomplish than cold-calling a candidate found on LinkedIn, for example. Stack ranking needs to include members of the existing talent community and organization is cultivating as well. An excellent example of how this could work is shown below:

Remote Recruiting In a Post COVID-19 World

Conclusion

University campuses need to consider partnering with Eightfold.ai to make it easier for their graduating students to find best available careers, perhaps across a much broader range of companies than ever visited any individual campus. And there is no reason this paradigm can’t be applied to other job fairs and recruiting events like Grace Hopper.

Improving event virtual recruiting needs to be the priority recruiters and HR professionals take action on first to stay competitive from a talent management standpoint. Organizations that will win the war for talent in this new remote, distributed workforce era are already looking at how to excel at virtual recruiting. Having a talent intelligence platform that can provide end-to-end visibility and personalization at scale is the future of talent management.

 

How To Reduce The Unemployment Gap With AI

How To Reduce The Unemployment Gap With AI

It’s time for AI startups to step up and use their formidable technology expertise in AI to help get more Americans back to work now.

Bottom Line: A.I.’s ability to predict and recommend job matches will help get more Americans back to work, helping to reduce the 22 million unemployed today.

One in ten Americans is out of work today based latest U.S. Department of Labor data. They’re primarily from the travel and hospitality, food services, and retail trade and manufacturing industries, with many other affected sectors. McKinsey & Company’s recent article, A new AI-powered network, is helping workers displaced by the coronavirus crisis provides context around the scope of challenges involved in closing the unemployment gap. McKinsey, Eightfold A.I., and the FMI – The Food Industry Association combined efforts to create the Talent Exchange, powered by Eightfold.ai in a matter of weeks. McKinsey insights across a broad base of industries to help Eightfold and FMI create the Talent Exchange in record time. “In talking with clients across the U.S., it became very clear that there is a huge labor mismatch, and individuals are being affected very differently—from retailers furloughing tens of thousands of workers to other organizations needing to hire more than 100,000 workers quickly. We’re excited to help bring a scalable offering to the market,” said McKinsey partner Andrew Davis. McKinsey and FMI collaborating with Eightfold speak volumes to how Americans are coming together to combat the COVID-19 fallout as a team.

And with the food & agriculture, transportation, and logistics industries considered essential, critical infrastructure by Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), demand for workers is more urgent than ever. Eightfold’s Talent Exchange launched last weekend and already has more than 600,000 jobs uploaded that employers need to fill and is available in 15 languages. Eightfold is making the Talent Exchange available free of charge through the COVID-19 epidemic. The Talent Exchange is also being extended to other industries and eco-systems, illustrating how the Eightfold A.I. platform can provide transferability of skills across roles and industries.

Getting Americans Back To Work Using A.I.

Earlier this week Eightfold, FMI – The Food Industry Association and Josh Bersin, the noted global research analyst, public speaker, and writer on many aspects of human resources and talent management, hosted the webinar, COVID-19: Helping the food industry on the front lines with A.I. It’s available to watch here and includes a walk-through of the Eightfold Talent Exchange. The following graphic explains how the Talent Exchange addresses the needs of downsizing companies, impacted workers and hiring companies:

How To Reduce The Unemployment Gap With AI

Eightfold’s Talent Exchange Is A Model For How To Use A.I. For Good

Eightfold’s Talent Exchange uses A.I. algorithms to match candidates with available roles, based on each individual’s skills and previous experience.

Current employers who have to furlough or lay off employees can invite employees to participate in the program. Eightfold also designed in a useful feature that enables employers to add lists of impacted employees and send them a link to register for the Exchange. Employers can view their entire impacted workforce in a single dashboard and can filter by role, department, or location to see details about the talent needs from hiring companies and how their impacted employees are getting placed in new roles. The following is the Talent Exchange dashboard  for current employers showing progress in placing employees with furlough and outplacement partners, including the number of offers accepted by each:

How To Reduce The Unemployment Gap With AI

Employees impacted by a furlough or lay-off can create and update profiles free on the Talent Exchange, defining their job preferences, skills, and experience. That’s invaluable data for hiring companies relying on the platform to make offers and fill positions quickly.  How current employers handle furloughs and lay-offs today will be their identity for years to come, a point John Bersin made during the webinar saying “employers who thrive in the future are going to build long-term relationships with employees today.” Employees receive the following when their current employer adds their name to the Eightfold Talent Exchange. The fictional Company Travel Air is used for this example:

Hiring companies see candidate matches generated by the Exchange, so they can contact these prospects or immediately offer them new jobs. Eightfold’s A.I. engineering teams have automated and personalized this contact as well, expediting the process even further. Hiring companies can add onboarding instructions to allow new hires to start as soon as they are ready and have real-time views of their hiring dashboard shown below:

How To Reduce The Unemployment Gap With AI

Conclusion

Combining A.I.’s innate strengths with H.R. and talent management professionals’ expertise and insights is closing the unemployment gap today. Employers furloughing or laying off employees need to look out for them and get their profile data on the Talent Exchange, helping them find new jobs with hiring companies. As was so well-said by Josh Bersin during the webinar this week, “smart employers should think of their hourly workers as talent, not fungible, replaceable bodies.” For hiring companies in a war for proven employees with talent today, that mindset is more important than ever.

10 Most In-Demand Tech Jobs On Indeed In 2020

10 Most In-Demand Tech Jobs On Indeed In 2020

  • There has been a 73.6% increase in WordPress developer job postings on Indeed through the first three months of 2020.
  •  Demand for tech jobs is more resilient than the national average, with tech job listings down 5.8% from the same time last year compared to a 15.2% drop across all job listings.
  • The top ten most in-demand tech jobs’ open positions grew 30.2% through March 2020.

While job postings in the U.S. are 23.6% lower year-to-date compared to 2019, tech hiring is showing signs of being more resilient than average. Indeed’s economists looked at the tech job titles with the highest percentage increase in job postings per million from January 2020 to March 2020. They included average salary along with the % increase in job postings per million on Indeed during the same time period in 2019. Their analysis found the ten most in-demand technical jobs through the end of March have seen on average a 30% increase in job listings. WordPress Developers, Systems Integration Engineers, and SAS Programmers are the most in-demand, according to Indeed’s analysis.

According to Nick Bunker, Economist at Indeed: “Demand for tech workers has slowed considerably. The trend in job postings for software development job titles included in the analysis is down 18.5% from the same time last year, as of April 3. Compare that to the trend in overall postings in the U.S. which is down 23.6% from last year’s trend.” Demand for tech workers appears to be slowing down, but is doing relatively better than the overall labor market. Nick says that “the trend in job postings for software development jobs titles is down 5.8% from the same time last year, as of March 27st. Compare that to the trend in overall postings in the U.S. which is down 15.2% from last year’s trend.”  

The following are key insights from Indeed’s analysis of tech jobs most in-demand so far this year.

  • The average salary of the ten most in-demand tech jobs on Indeed through March 2020 is $113,855. SAP ABAP Developers are earning the highest salaries, with an average annual salary of $139,920. Indeed’s economists say professionals with skills in the area can make, on average, $69.96 per hour. SAP ABAP expertise is among the most lucrative skills to have in an economic downturn, paying $26,065 more than the average income level of the top ten tech jobs combined.

10 Most In-Demand Tech Jobs On Indeed In 2020

  • There has been a 30.25% growth in new job listings across the ten most in-demand jobs through March 2020, countering the downward trend in overall national hiring. The five fastest-growing positions’ job listings are growing at an aggregate 44% growth rate through the first three months of the year. Professionals with skills in WordPress Development, Systems Integration Engineering, SAS Programming, experience being a Senior Technical Lead, and SAP ABAP development have an excellent chance of finding work during this downtime.

10 Most In-Demand Tech Jobs On Indeed In 2020

  • There are just over 29,000 job listings across the ten most in-demand positions today. To get the number of open positions by title, I searched Indeed on each and entered the counts in the table below.

10 Most In-Demand Tech Jobs On Indeed In 2020

 

 

The Best Tech Companies For Remote Jobs In 2020 According To Glassdoor

The Best Tech Companies For Remote Jobs In 2020 According To Glassdoor

  • Modern Tribe, CloudBeds, Dataiku, PartnerCentric, GitLab, Hotjar, HubSpot, PowerToFly, Close.io, Fuse, Databricks, eightfold.ai, Fortinet, and SAP are most likely to be recommended by 93% or more of the employees who work for these companies in 2020.
  • Between LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed there are over 12,000 open remote-based software technical professional jobs available today. Companies with open positions on these sites include Aha!, AutoDesk, Calix, Cardinal Financial,  Chef Software, CoreLogic, Couchbase, Medidata Solutions, OutSystems, Qlik,  RedHat,  Riverbend, Salesforce, ServiceNow, Ultimate Software and many others.
  • Working Nomads has 10,127 open remote-based developer jobs listed, along with over 1,800 in tech marketing, 1,700 in management, and just over 1,000 in tech sales.

These and many other insights are from a comparison of the leading tech companies who offer remote, work-from-home job positions today and their Glassdoor scores. Tech companies with open remote positions are compared on two Glassdoor scores of the (%) of employees who would recommend this company to a friend and (%) of employees who approve of the CEO. Of the many companies include in the comparison, PowerToFly and GitLab stand out as exceptional in their ability to create strong virtual organizations. They’re defining the future of work today.

PowerToFly was launched by Milena Berry and Katharine Zaleski in 2014 to connect Fortune 500 companies and fast-growing startups with women who are looking to work for companies that value gender diversity and inclusion. PowerToFly is building the platform to propel diversity recruiting and hiring. PowerToFly’s job search engine currently has 994 open remote positions. Founders Milena Berry and Katharine Zaleski have created an excellent remote-based culture where 95% of employees would recommend working there to a friend, and 94% approve of them as CEOs.

GitLab has team members located in more than 65 countries around the world and provides a Guide to Remote Work. GitLab has over 100 open remote locations open, and you can find them here. Open positions are in Engineering, Marketing, Sales, Quality, Security, UX, and several other areas. GitLab knows how to excel at creating and growing a remote-based culture, reflected in 97% of employees willing to recommend the company to a friend and their CEO Sid Sijbrandij having a 97% approval rating based on 125 ratings. GitLab is one of several remote-only software companies defining the future of work.

The best tech companies for remote jobs in 2020 table is shown below. You can download the original Excel data set here. If the image below is not viewable in your browser, you can see the image here.

Where To Find Remote Tech Jobs Today

Originally posted on Forbes here. 

 

How Absolute Protects Patient Data At Apria Healthcare

How Absolute Protects Patient Data At Apria Healthcare

Bottom Line: Healthcare providers need to adopt more persistent, resilient endpoint cybersecurity to thwart cybercriminals who are escalating their efforts to steal healthcare records. Motivated by up to $1,000 being offered on the Dark Web for healthcare records, cybercriminals are prioritizing healthcare breaches for financial gain.

Endpoint Resilience Is the Cornerstone of Apria Healthcare’s Cybersecurity Strategy

Healthcare providers are a favorite target for cybercriminals, and their popularity is growing. In the first eight weeks of 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services received 66 reports of breaches affecting 500 patient records or more at healthcare providers and health plans. The Health & Human Services Breach Portal, which contains a list of all cases under investigation today, reflects the severity of healthcare providers’ cybersecurity crisis and the urgent need for a strong, resilient system to protect patient information. Apria Healthcare is well aware of these threats and has taken an innovative, insightful approach to thwart them.

Apria Healthcare’s cybersecurity strategy focuses heavily on deterrence at the endpoint and device level, an approach that has proven effective in mitigating breaches globally. The company is a recognized leader in healthcare, serving nearly 2M patients annually across 300 locations in 49 states. They have more than 8,000 laptops, desktops and tablets, many of which regularly leave the organization. Apria needed a way to deliver zero-touch IT asset management, provide self-healing endpoint security, and employ always-on data visibility and protection whether an asset was on or off their corporate network. They turned to Absolute and the company’s patented Persistence technology.

“Persistence [located] in the BIOS is the number one item that I think really sets Absolute apart from other companies touting that they can do asset tracking better,” said Janet Hunt, Senior Director, IT User Support at Apria Healthcare. “The other vendors really can’t, they don’t have that piece – that persistent piece is so important to me. I always am looking for opportunities to use different technologies as they come up, and I haven’t found anything that’s as good as Absolute. Nothing can compare.”

Absolute’s Persistence technology, the foundation of the company’s Resilience solution, enables a self-healing, unbreakable two-way connection to endpoints, applications, and data. It provides an adaptive layer of defense by notifying IT of where devices are and when security applications are removed or corrupt, and triggering automatic reinstallation. Because Absolute is already embedded in the BIOS of Dell, HP, Lenovo, and 22 other leading manufacturers’ devices, it provides Apria with the single source of truth needed to protect personal data and help achieve HIPAA compliance.

Turning HIPAA Compliance into A Competitive Advantage  

Apria quickly established a leadership position in the healthcare industry by setting and maintaining stringent requirements needed to achieve HIPAA compliance across its patient data platform. Leveraging Absolute’s Resilience solution and Persistence technology, Apria differentiated itself from its competitors and reduced the risk they would ever see fines for HIPAA non-compliance. And with HIPAA fines ranging from $25,000 to $15.M per year, Apria’s prescient decision to turn compliance into a competitive advantage was an excellent one because it put patients’ welfare and data security first, above all other IT priorities.

Achieving Greater Device Control & Visibility Is Key 

Absolute’s dashboard provides Apria with both a snapshot of the status of all devices, updated every 15 minutes, as well as a complete device history that enables security managers to see and report on encryption, geolocation, and usage.

“Our geo-fencing is extremely tight. I have PCs that live in the Philippines. I have PCs that live in India. I have one, or actually two, PCs that live in Indonesia. If somebody goes from where they say that they’re going to be to another part of Indonesia, that device will freeze because that’s not where it’s supposed to be, and that’s an automatic thing. Don’t ask forgiveness, don’t ask questions, freeze the device, and see what happens. It’s one of the best things we’ve done for ourselves,” Janet Hunt recently said during a recent during a recent panel discussion. Geofencing is a must-have in any persistent endpoint security strategy.

“[With Absolute] I have a complete history of each device, which makes it really easy for me to say not only whether it is encrypted now, but also what its status was a week ago, or two weeks ago, or two months ago,” said Dave Ochoa, Manager, Information Security Operations at Apria Healthcare. “So, you get this lovely little package that you can hand off to your auditor and say, ‘Not an issue.’ You know that this is not an incident, this is not a breach.”

Endpoint Security’s Network Effect Is Accelerating

Apria Healthcare’s decision to protect its 8,000 laptops, desktops, and tablets using Absolute’s Resilience endpoint solution is a leading indicator of the Network Effect happening with endpoint security today. A sure sign the Network Effect is taking place is how demand is growing for more endpoint security agents and applications. Absolute is seeing this Network Effect globally and has been steadily adding integrations with more than 30 endpoint security agents and applications – most recently adding support for the market-leading security solution VMware® Carbon Black.

“The average enterprise today has already spent thousands, if not millions, of dollars on security controls and applications, and that total security investment only continues to rise in the face of escalating risk,” said Christy Wyatt, CEO of Absolute. “However, the vast number of controls and agents being invested in and subsequently piled onto the endpoint can introduce a false sense of security; those controls are only effective if they are present and actually running. A foundation of Resilience enables IT and security teams to understand the current state of their assets, understand if the security controls have been compromised, and heal those that have been taken offline.”

Conclusion

In the face of increasingly sophisticated attackers and vectors, organizations continue to layer on security controls. Gartner estimates that more than $174B will be spent on security by 2022, and of that, approximately $50B will be dedicated to protecting the endpoint. Absolute’s 2019 Endpoint Security Trends Report revealed that organizations have an average of 10 distinct agents layered onto endpoint devices, all competing with one another for device services and resources. The resulting complexity not only negatively impacts endpoint performance but creates an environment ripe for collision and decay. This, along with humans tampering with or removing security controls, means that even the most well-functioning endpoint agents have a high probability of failure.

All of this has IT and security administrators grappling with increasing complexity and risk levels, while also facing mounting pressure to ensure endpoint controls maintain integrity, availability, and functionality at all times, and deliver their intended value. And so, organizations need complete visibility and real-time insights to pinpoint the dark endpoints, identify what’s broken and where gaps exist, as well as respond and take action quickly.

Absolute’s Resilience offering empowers organizations to build an enterprise security approach that is intelligent, adaptive, and self-healing. Rather than perpetuating a false sense of security, Absolute provides a single source of truth and the diamond image of resilience for endpoints as Apria Healthcare’s cybersecurity strategy and results indicate.

 

 

 

 

COVID-19’s Impact On Tech Spending This Year

COVID-19's Impact On Tech Spending This Year

The human tragedy the COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted on the world is incalculable and continues to grow. Every human life is priceless and deserves the care needed to sustain it. COVID-19 is also impacting entire industries, causing them to randomly gyrate in unpredictable ways, directly impacting IT and tech spending.

COVID-19’s Impact On Industries

Computer Economics in collaboration with their parent company Avasant published their Coronavirus Impact Index by Industry that looks at how COVID-19 is affecting 11 major industry sectors in four dimensions: personnel, operations, supply chain, and revenue. Please see the Coronavirus Impact Index by Industry by Tom Dunlap, Dave Wagner, and Frank Scavo of Computer Economics for additional information and analysis.  The resulting index is an overall rating of the impact of the pandemic on each industry and is shown below:

Computer Economics and Avasant predict major disruption to High Tech & Telecommunications based on the industry’s heavy reliance on Chinese supply chains, which were severely impacted by COVID-19. Based on conversations with U.S.-based high tech manufacturers, I’ve learned that a few are struggling to make deliveries to leading department stores and discount chains due to parts shortages and allocations from their Chinese suppliers. North American electronics suppliers aren’t an option due to their prices being higher than their Chinese competitors. Leading department stores and discount chains openly encourage high tech device manufacturers to compete with each other on supplier availability and delivery date performance.

In contrast to the parts shortage and unpredictability of supply chains dragging down the industry, software is a growth catalyst. The study notes that Zoom, Slack, GoToMyPC, Zoho Remotely, Microsoft Office365, Atlassian, and others are already seeing increased demand as companies increase their remote-working capabilities.

COVID-19’s Impact On IT Spending  

Further supporting the Coronavirus Impact Index by Industry analysis, Andrew Bartels, VP & Principal Analyst at Forrester, published his latest forecast of tech growth today in the post, The Odds of a Tech Market Decline In 2020 Have Just Gone Up To 50%.

Mr. Bartels is referencing the market forecasts shown in the following forecast published last month, New Forrester Forecast Shows That Global Tech Market Growth Will Slip To 3% In 2020 And 2021 and shown below:

Key insights from Forrester’s latest IT spending forecast and predictions are shown below:

  • Forrester is revising its tech forecast downward, predicting the US and global tech market growth slowing to around 2% in 2020. Mr. Bartels mentions that this assumes the US and other major economies have declined in the first half of 2020 but manage to recover in the second half.
  • If a full-fledged recession hits, there is a 50% probability that US and global tech markets will decline by 2% or more in 2020.
  • In either a second-half 2020 recovery or recession, Forrester predicts computer and communications equipment spending will be weakest, with potential declines of 5% to 10%.
  • Tech consulting and systems integration services spending will be flat in a temporary slowdown and could be down by up to 5% if firms cut back on new tech projects.
  • Software spending growth will slow to the 2% to 4% range in the best case and will post no growth in the worst case of a recession.
  • The only positive signs from the latest Forrester IT spending forecast is the continued growth in demand for cloud infrastructure services and potential increases in spending on specialized software. Forrester also predicts communications equipment, and telecom services for remote work and education as organizations encourage workers to work from home and schools move to online courses.

Conclusion

Every industry is economically hurting already from the COVID-19 pandemic. Now is the time for enterprise software providers to go the extra mile for their customers across all industries and help them recover and grow again. Strengthening customers in their time of need by freely providing remote collaboration tools, secure endpoint solutions, cloud-based storage, and CRM systems is an investment in the community that every software company needs to make it through this pandemic too.

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