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Cyber Security Battle - Can We Win It?

May 16, 2021



By Newton Braga

Are we fighting a lost battle?

  1. Cyber security breaches are increasing

  2. Number of network connected devices are more common than ever including IoT, security cameras, sensors, household appliances, etc.
    Greater the attack surface the greater the chances of an adversary finding an exploitable security vulnerability

  3. Insurance companies are upping the cyber security insurance premium cost as insured companies becoming more frequently targets of cyber attacks....


Click here for a PDF copy of the above infograph.

About the author
Newton Braga has a Master in Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor Electrical Engineering (BEng) degree.
He is an IT, digital solution executive, with experience on board membership and 15+ years of experience in IT leadership roles across the private, public

and higher education sectors, in Australia and overseas.

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How smart is your organisational IT spending?

March 13, 2021


By Newton Braga

How good is your organisation’s investment in information system, tools and technology?

With the pandemic, companies increased faster spending in technology tools to support changes in the workplace environment. According to Gartner, IT spending worldwide will reach US$3.9 trillion in 2021. James Anderson, research vice-president at Gartner, said with the digital acceleration brought by COVID, most organisations are not tracking the business outcomes and benefits of their investment in IT. People are wasting money, doing what they are told to do, rather than using business metrics to influence investment, according to James Anderson.

In a recent survey of world technology and business people about how organisations are wrongly investing in IT, some common answers were found.

Cloud spending is too high
Cloud technology is constantly improving, and lower infrastructure and storage costs are some benefits well known by companies.

But according to Gartner analyst, Ed Anderson, organisations are overspending by an average of 40% by rushing to the cloud without a proper planning and fully understand what the shift from on premises to cloud will entail. One of the biggest mistakes that companies are making is simply moving services to the cloud as they are...

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Business & Technology Weekly Snapshot

March 11, 2021


A briefing weekly update on technology / business related matters.
By Newton Braga

Wall Street Tech Rally Continues
Mega-cap stocks Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and led the rally, recouping losses from a recent pullback

New risks that could emerge from extensive remote working arrangements
The paper “Risk Management and Operational Resilience in a Remote Working Environment” highlights that, in view of the protracted remote working arrangements

HAFNIUM targeting Exchange Servers with 0-day exploits
Microsoft continues to see increased use of these vulnerabilities in attacks targeting unpatched systems by multiple malicious actors beyond HAFNIUM

Microsoft's MSERT tool now finds web shells from Exchange Server attacks
Microsoft has pushed out a new update for their Microsoft Safety Scanner (MSERT) tool to detect web shells deployed in the recent Exchange Server attacks

White House fears significant number of organisations caught in Microsoft hack
The hacking has already reached more places than all of the tainted code downloaded from SolarWinds Corp.

F5 urges customers to patch critical BIG-IP pre-auth RCE bug
F5 Networks, a leading provider of enterprise networking gear, has announced four critical remote code execution (RCE) vulnerabilities affecting most BIG-IP and BIG-IQ software versions.


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COVID-19 business impact and jobs of the future

January 30, 2021

By Newton Braga

Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic brought, with its induced lockdowns, global recession, and changes in general at individual and professional levels, a great uncertainty for the labor market while, at the same time, bringing accelerated changes to it. The way to work, to interact with businesses, work colleagues, family and friends have changed significantly - some changes were temporarily but some will be with us for the foreseeable future.

In October/2020, the World Economic Forum published a report titled “The Future of Jobs Report 2020”. While shedding light on the disruptions caused by the pandemic in 2020, the report maps the jobs and skills of the future, tracking the pace of change, within the context of a history of economic cycles, technology adoption outlooks, jobs, and skills in the following five years.

Some of the key findings of the report include:

  • The changes in the workplace brought by the pandemic accelerated the pace of technology adoption in many areas. This pace is expected to continue in length and strength. Following previous years trend, business leaders are seeing with high priority areas such as e-commerce, cloud computing and data management & analytics (i.e., big data). The rate...

Tags: covid, jobs, wef, worldeconomicforum

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Cyber Security Program and Organisational Maturity

April 22, 2020


By Newton Braga

Remote working is one of the workplace changes that has been in the pipeline for quite some time now. In 2019, conducted a study about the state of remote work, and 99% of the interviewees reported they would like to be able to work remotely at least once in their career.

Remote working moved from a trend to be a way to work that is here to stay.  It allows flexibility in terms of working schedule and location, with these two benefits making the top of the benefit list identified in the report.


For many organisations, instructing or encouraging staff to work from home has been the approach to help to reduce the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19 and adhere to social distancing. But such move in a short notice, from a trusted office environment to working remotely increased the organisations’ exposure to cyber security risks.

Although a very current buzzword, cyber security is really all about information management and security. While information is not recognisable as a balance sheet asset – even though information meets all the criteria to be included on it – some organisations started internally recognising information as an actual...


Tags: cyber, information, risk management

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Nimble Leadership - Enabling Cross-Functional Innovation

November 22, 2019

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By Newton Braga

The world is constantly changing around us, and organisations and their leadership teams are not in a cocoon, insulated from the surrounding environments and their influences.

Traditional businesses are disrupted by new entrants or established organisations which foresee the needs for innovative products and services to survive. Kodak and Nokia are just two examples of market leaders which failed to evolve with changing times.

But organisations are not a living entity which will change by themselves. They need their people to be involved in understanding the organisational goals and strategies, to move the organisation day by day, to derive the best outcomes in all the areas. Such approach requires an adjustment in leadership styles.

These new leadership styles were identified by Deborah Ancona and Kate Isaacs, researchers at MIT Sloan School of Management, when studying established companies which adapted to what was previously called Distributed Leadership, and the researchers have now called Nimble Leadership.

The researchers coined the term Nimble Leadership to describe a structure where leaders are spread across the whole organisation and ready to move accordingly to what happens in the moment inside the organisation. These cross-functional leaders at different levels with an...


Tags: innovation, leadership

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Customer Focused - How Can You Walk The Talk?

June 13, 2019


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By Newton Braga

Almost every institution and organisational service units recognise the importance of being customer focused. Be it due to external competitive forces or the need to deliver services internally (e.g. IT, HR, Finance, etc.) to support business efficiency, strategies and goals.

Creating a real customer-centric culture is recognised as critical factor for success. But what does customer-centric actually mean?

For me it means empathising with your customers, to fully understand their desires and mostly important their needs, to then evaluate the feasibility of meeting them in the foreseeing future and how viable and sustainable it would be to become a sustainable model. The intersection of these three analyses will help you to innovate to develop and improve services, processes, products and strategies (see figure below).

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Source: IDEO U

Using the above foundations of design thinking will ensure the engagement with your customer basis is a reality, and your organisation is really walking the talking when it says it is customer focused.

But such process does not have an end in itself. It is a never-ending journey, where you are constantly engaging with your customer to gather information, deepening your understanding of their requirements, pain points and strategies,...

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Technology is transforming business. So why I.T. is not changing?

October 28, 2018 Newton Braga

Digital disruption is present everywhere. From start-up companies disrupting established companies and business models, to organisations going through internal changes, with technology improving business efficiency, supporting R&D and new product and service development and improvement of customer experience and retention, digital transformation is a paramount change to be faced everywhere.
But while positioned right in the middle of this “digital disruption storm”, some I.T. organisations are hardly changing. While Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are required to change their skills and priorities to survive the digital disruption wave, some CIOs still have their I.T. organisation tied up to old habits and structure, due to possible some organisational circumstances.
In many organisations the CIO is not recognised as a member of the executive team, reporting to another executive member, possibly the Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

The I.T. department is, in most of these cases, viewed as a cost centre, and the CIO is constantly required to reduce costs, centralise all the services to leverage the benefits of sharing the delivery of services across the business units.

The reporting line can influence on where the CIOs focus the I.T. department’s efforts and priorities, and it can cause a disconnection between...


Tags: cio, digital transformation, disruption, strategic, technology, transformation

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Does your digital strategy need a strategy?

December 3, 2017

By Newton Braga MBA/BEng

A lot has been said in the media in general about digital strategy, digital transformation and so forth.

The old information technology (IT) strategy has now evolved in most organisations to become a digital strategy. But many organisations have failed to make this transition beyond the renaming of the strategy paper, and some digital strategies are simply a renamed IT strategy, with focus in technology and not business digital transformation.

In the past we had seen IT strategic plans mainly focused in technology and developed in isolation of an overall strategy. The IT strategy then moved to align with the business, but nowadays a Chief Information Officer (CIO), or a Chief Digital Officer (CDO), needs to play a leading role in business digital initiatives – aligning with the business requirements is no longer sufficient.

But how a CIO or a CDO can move out of the technology cocoon to engage and lead other business units in their digital initiatives? Maybe a strategy is needed to develop a business digital strategy.

The CIO/CDO first needs to understand how the business works, how the organisation is structured, what are its core capabilities and value chains. With this thorough...


Tags: #cdo, #cio, #digital, #digitalstrategy, #digitaltransformation, #strategy

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Disrupting the disruptor

November 15, 2017

By Newton Braga MBA/BEng

Digital disruptor can, in a blink of an eye, force well-established companies to change the way they do business, or even put them out of business.

Industries that have not been digitally disrupted are rarer than those that have. Telecommunications, taxi services, entertainment / TV, newspapers are some of the industries heavily impacted by digital disruption in the past, and new disrupted businesses are joining them as new technology reaches areas such as on-demand laundry and dry-cleaning, peer-to-peer money lending, app-based waste collection and courier services, mobile based health sensor, online estate agents and bitcoin.

The hotel industry in Australia is obtaining some success fighting one of its main digital disruptors, the Online Travel Agency (OTA) sector.

OTAs charge a fee for each booking ranging from 12-25%. It can be collected from the hotel chain only, which is done by most of the OTAs, or split between the hotel and guest. OTAs collect commissions from the hotels only, leaving the client with the impression they do not charge any fee on top of the accommodation costs. The table below shows the fees charged by OTAs to guests and/or hotels.

OTAs used to have parity clauses in...


Tags: #businesstransformation, #cio, #digitaldisruption, #disruption

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