Good day, CIOs, CI&DOs, CI&SOs and assorted "chief information and [fill in the blank] officers." The responsibilities of the IT chief are broadening, and so, it appears, are their titles. Case in point: Quest Diagnostics Inc. recently announced a chief information and digital officer. Gabrielle Wolfson, a former Xerox Corp. chief information officer, took on the dual role earlier this month.
The new title reflects "the significance of digital transformation" and Quest's effort to promote "operational excellence strategies," Quest tells CIO Journal's Angus Loten. "These include the use of digital technologies to elevate customer and patient experiences and engagement, as well as improve efficiencies."
What to call the customer-facing, digitally-forward IT chief. Mario Faria, a vice president of Gartner Inc.’s research board, said the growing range of enterprise IT services offered by cloud computing providers is giving CIOs greater bandwidth to focus on broader digital strategies. “More and more businesses are expecting IT to be more than just backroom support,” Mr. Faria said.
Time to get new business cards? Quest is not alone. Other extended job titles spotted in IT include chief information and strategy officer, chief information and technology officer...and the list goes on. Given technology's strategic value, perhaps one day we'll see more of those titles transform yet again...into "CEO."
SECURITY & PRIVACY
Iranian group blamed for cyberattack on Australia’s parliament.Hackers linked to Iran's Mabna Institute were behind a recent computer breach of Australia’s Parliament and political parties, U.S. cyber research company Resecurity tells the WSJ.
Part of a larger campaign. The attack was part of a global espionage campaign against U.S. and Western allies. They think the attacks were in retaliation for President Trump’s decision to withdraw from a nuclear agreement with Iran.
"Password spray attacks." Iran’s cybersoldiers, according to FBI investigators, have been conducting “password spray attacks” using easy-to-guess passwords. Frequent targets are organizations using cloud-based applications that require a single authentication token. Mabna focuses on Microsoft Office 365 users, according to the agency.
Microsoft identifies Russian hackers. The company says Fancy Bear, a hacking group involved with the 2016 Democratic National Committee incident, is targeting think tanks across Europe in the run up to May's European Parliament elections. The New York Times has more.
Blockchain not unhackable. Hackers are finding ways to infiltrate online distributed ledgers, exploiting smart contract flaws and, in some cases, using the technology's proof of work protocol to hijack entire blockchains, MIT Technology Review reports.
Nyet on smartphones. The Russian Army has banned soldiers from using smartphones, citing the need to protect military information, BBC News reports. Shorter: Smartphones (and their users) bleed data, including GPS coordinates.
The walls have ears. Google admits that it failed to notify users about a built-in microphone in its Nest Secure home security system, Reuters reports.
Huawei’s video surveillance business hits snag in Philippines. The WSJ reports that lawmakers are pushing back against the $400 million “Safe Philippines” deal, which calls for the installation of 12,000 closed circuit television cameras in Manila and in President Rodrigo Duterte’s hometown of Davao.
MORE TECHNOLOGY NEWS
Samsung unveils new lineup. Samsung Electronics Co. unveiled four models of its Galaxy S10 flagship device Wednesday, the WSJ reports. The largest, enabled for next-generation 5G network speeds, boasts a 6.7-inch display and six cameras. The smallest, the Galaxy S10e has a 5.8-inch screen and three cameras. The WSJ's Joanna Stern offers a first look at the lineup.
Double the screen, double the price. As expected, Samsung showed off a device with a foldable screen. The Galaxy Fold's screen measures 7.3 inches diagonally when opened. When closed, a second outside display, of 4.6 inches, allows users to conduct many tasks. Samsung said the Galaxy Fold will be available on April 26—at a price of $1,980.
Meanwhile... Smartphone sales have fallen for five straight quarters, including a 4.9% decline during the final three months of last year, according to International Data Corp.
Google Cloud's hybrid move. Google Cloud released Wednesday a beta version of Cloud Services Platform, which lets customers build an instance of Google's cloud on-premises, Data Center Knowledge reports. Rivals Microsoft Corp.'s Azure and Amazon Web Services offer or are building similar capabilities.
A window into Google's challenge. Google remains "a distant third" behind Amazon and Microsoft in cloud marketshare according to Reuters. Digging through a list of 311 businesses that disclosed their cloud vendors in 2018, 35 named Google, 69 named Microsoft and 227 named AWS.
Pinterest blocks vaccination searches. Pinterest described the search ban as a temporary but necessary measure until it can develop better strategies to sift through what it calls “polluted” content. The WSJ has more.
Uber, GM's Cruise open source self-driving tools. Both autonomous vehicle players announced recently that they would open up their respective visualization tools, the Verge reports. The tools translate data produced by a vehicle’s hardware and software into a visual representation of what the car "sees" as it maneuvers through traffic.
Tesla's attorney joins the crowd. Dane Butswinkas, who joined the auto maker as general counsel two years ago, is leaving to return to his law firm Williams & Connolly, the WSJ reports. More than 50 senior executives have left the Palo Alto, Calif., company in the past two years, including heads of sales, engineering, human resources and communications.
Inclusive gaming. The New York Times looks at recent efforts to customize controllers for gamers with disabilities. “If you’re on the streets, everyone knows you’re a profoundly disabled individual,” Mark Barlet, founder of AbleGamers, tells the NYT. “You can’t hide this fact. But in a videogame, you’re a player. We all jump into videogames for some level of fantasy.”
Lyft is planning to list shares on Nasdaq. The ride-hailing company expected to make IPO filing public as early as next week, the WSJ reports.
EVERYTHING ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW
The U.S.-China trade conflict has nearly wiped out American soy exports to the bean’s biggest market, China, giving Russian farmers a chance to extend their already soaring exports to their neighbor. (WSJ)
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that states may not impose excessive fines, extending a bedrock constitutional protection but potentially jeopardizing asset-forfeiture programs that help fund police operations. (WSJ)
Several companies suspended advertising on YouTube following a report documenting material on the video service that sexually exploits children. (WSJ)
Global stocks paused after a recent run of gains, a day after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s meeting signaled uncertainty about the strength of the economy and officials took a wait-and-see attitude to future interest-rate increases. (WSJ)