Innovation Is Overrated
Source: Psychology Today
Contrary to popular perception, employees are more successful in their jobs when they imitate rather than innovate.
That is one lesson drawn from a recent international computer tournament, in which people competed in a constantly changing game of survival. Researchers found that when things are in flux, “it pays to imitate successful behaviors, with just a little effort devoted to invention and experimentation,” writes Psychology Today blogger Alex Pentland.
The same principle holds true in the more mundane office environment. Studies have found that although some employees make it big by coming up with innovative ideas, most people succeed by copying the successful strategies of their co-workers.
“It even seems that imitation is built into our genes,” Pentland writes. “Our brains are wired to help us fit in to the culture around us, and when in Rome, we automatically and unconsciously begin to do as the Romans do.”
Better Security Through Encryption
Source: IEEE Spectrum
Encryption is often cited as one of the answers to cybersecurity woes, but it's a tough process for many of the smaller devices people now carry around — and tend to lose, along with all the sensitive data on them. Think laptop PCs at the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments, among others.
Putting encryption into the processors that run those devices would greatly simplify matters.
Fortunately, Intel recently announced it has come up with a process that would allow a random-number generator, which is the basis for encryption, to work on modern processors.
An IEEE Spectrum story quotes Greg Taylor, director of Intel's Circuit Research Lab, as saying that the new all-digital device can generate billions of random bits per second and is more random than analog generators, which means the encryption is even stronger.
Executives Are the Weakest Link
A recent article in InfoWorld states that the biggest threat to an organization’s cybersecurity resides in the executive suite.
Author Joan Goodchild quotes Jayson Street, a security consultant and chief information officer at Stratagem 1 Solutions, as saying that “C-level executives are the juiciest targets for criminals, and they are putting the company at serious risk.”
Street cites some familiar reasons: Many senior executives assume the organization’s security will protect them no matter what they do, and they’re keen to use the latest tech gadget, whether it’s been properly secured or not.
But one reason is rather surprising: Social engineers often try to compromise an executive’s home computer network by targeting family members’ online activities.
"If you've got millions of dollars at stake and you are doing corporate espionage and want to steal secrets or money, you don't go after your target only, you go after everyone in your target's network, too," Street said.