As you are likely out of the office much of today, preparing for a long weekend, I will keep this week’s summary short and to the point. Another three-star set of nits to pick.


With Apple’s new product announcements just a couple weeks away, Wired’s Will Apple Kill Off the Credit Card Like It Did the Compact Disc? asks the wrong question. I don’t claim any specific knowledge of what Apple is thinking when it comes to payments, but I am willing to bet they would not describe their strategy as replacement of credit cards. In fact, just asking whether Apple is looking to kill off credit cards is myopic. It’s like asking if smartphones were out to kill land lines – ultimately they did, but powerful mobile handheld computers transformed many facets of daily life, including basic things like our definition of ‘computer’ and how we use information. The move to mobile payments by Apple and other platform providers is more about fundamental long-term transformation of payments to something more convenient, more ubiquitous and…probably…more secure.


The Opportunity Cost of Automating Database Auditing should have a big NOT in the title. Not in that Borat ‘NOT!’ way, but better to consider the opportunity cost of not auditing databases as an information source. As a former vendor of database monitoring and auditing products, I always felt it would have been prudent for some of the compliance mandates to include database infrastructure in their lists of required controls. The database offers more accurate information than most other sources, and can help bypass a lot of manual work if done correctly. And certainly the repository that holds the bulk of enterprise data – relational databases have been king of the data management platforms for a couple decades – warrants some special mention. But they don’t get it. PCI? Nope. CA-1386? Nope. Basel II? Nada. Not even Sarbanes-Oxley, which is a special case given that Worldcom – one of the law’s poster children – was convicted based on analysis of database transaction records. But database auditing is not part of the requirement. The key ROI cost discrepancy is not between different kinds of database auditing – it is between database auditing and other types of auditing which require more effort for lower-quality results.


Tim Raines wrote recently on the Microsoft blog about Major Rights Management Update to Office on Azure. This is less about user entitlements than enforcement. Look at the provided examples: it is app-layer Digital Rights Management. Yes, platform providers (such as Apple and Google) have a unique advantage as they control the cloud servers and the mobile applications that use them. In essence this offers control over who can view/use data under what circumstances, but it is more interesting when the data owner can control rights in the data management solution context. Most existing DRM options require learning third-party products, and disassociate where you set policy from where the data is managed. This is essentially what many firms are attempting to accomplish with MDM solutions and various mobile containers.

On to the Summary:

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