Inside CTO/CIO - February 12th, 2019 |

Inside CTO/CIO (Feb 12th, 2019)

AT&T 5G network deal, Chinese equipment ban, Neiman Marcus ends iLab

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1. Kubernetes and OpenStack expert Mirantis signed an eight-figure, three-year deal to build out AT&T's 5G network. The news comes as Sprint's lawsuit heats up; the rival carrier says AT&T's 5G E advertising is "false and misleading by deceiving customers to believe that its 4G LTE Advanced network is actually 5G." While some experts had cautioned 5G's 2019 rollout would be underwhelming, it's clear that 5G speeds will explode data volume; in fact, Gartner predicted that with 5G the number of connected devices will bloom from 23 billion to 31 billion by 2020. AT&T's new deal makes this growth prediction a sure thing. --ZDNET

2. An executive order banning Chinese telecom equipment from US wireless networks is expected before the end of February. This will be an enormous headache for organizations using Huawei and ZTE products, reminiscent to the reworking that IT departments has to do after the US ban on Kaspersky software. Rural carriers are already preparing to resist the ban, and the news comes hot on the heels of the White House's new AI initiativeChinese telecom giants are on the Trump administration’s crosshairs as it leverages Chinese national security threats in the US-China trade war under a looming March 1 deadline.  --POLITICO

3. A day of reckoning for cyber risk and insurance is here: Mondelez International is suing Zurich Insurance for refusing to pay out $100 million in claim damages from the 2017 NotPetya attack. Zurich is fighting the claim saying NotPetya was an "act of war" and Lawfare has key analysis on what this might mean for everyone as cyber risks now cut across all aspects of business operations, from suppliers to partners. --LAWFARE

4. Neiman Marcus is dissolving its innovation labs (iLab), having decided to focus on more urgent matters, like getting out of the red. The new re-alignment of priorities comes from a perspective that tailoring for specific consumers requires niche technologies that deserve research and development, but this can't outweigh the cost of maintaining existing systems. The iLab innovation project was the baby of former CIO Michael Kingston, but now, seven years later, Neiman Marcus has a different CIO and CEO -- who are tasked with bringing the retailer out of financial woes and transforming it into a into a "luxury customer platform." --CIO DIVE 

5. We finally know much it'll cost for Microsoft's big customers to stay patched on Windows 7. The company ends Windows 7 support on January 14, 2020, but until now price tags on its pay-for-play Windows 7 Extended Security Updates were a mystery. As we suspected, no one's getting off cheap. --ZDNET

6. Skype users can now blur out their surroundings during video calls, making the tool infinitely better for workplaces and remote meetings. --TECH REPUBLIC

7. Yum Brands — parent company of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC — is looking for a global leader to build digital and tech strategy. Each chain has a CIO but their digital tactics vary, and the company is in its final stage of transformation for strategy, IT, finance, and supply chain. --CIO DIVE

8. Amazon Web Services introduced AWS Backup for centralized, on-premise and AWS cloud systems backups in January; it left CTOs wondering what that means for third-party vendors. InformationWeek offers a thorough breakdown of what AWS Backup brings to the table, with commentary from the CTO of cloud solutions provider Unitas Global. --INFORMATIONWEEK

9. Google's head of internet security says you should ignore those scary pitch decks from cybersecurity vendors and take your cues from history instead. 16-year Google CISO Heather Adkins talks about Exquifax, as well as today's active threats like WannaCry and NotPetya. --CNBC

10. Gartner posits 5 excellent questions to evaluate the impact of trends on decision-making for those in leadership roles, anchoring on enterprise fundamentals to determine the future fitness of any trend. The list is more than helpful as we swing into conference season and prep to face vendor overload. --GARTNER

This newsletter is curated and authored by author and reporter Violet Blue, who covers security and privacy for outlets ranging from CBS News and CNET to Financial Times and ZDNet. Ms. Blue has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show and CNN, she writes the Engadget column "Bad Password," and she is the author of The Smart Girl's Guide to Privacy. Violet is on the Advisory Board for privacy nonprofit Without My Consent and a member of the Internet Press Guild. Find her sharing thoughts on Twitter @violetblue.

Editing team: Lon Harris (editor-in-chief at, game-master at Screen Junkies) and Susmita Baral (editor at Inside, recent bylines in NatGeo, Teen Vogue, and Quartz. Runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram).

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