Blog posts by Alexei Balaganski

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Fighting Data Friction, One Battle at a Time

Data friction is arguably the biggest obstacle for every organization on its journey to achieve optimal business productivity. Even if you have not heard the term before, you’ve definitely faced its consequences in one form or another (most probably, even in multiple different forms). You need your product’s sales data for EMEA, but it’s not a top priority for your IT team? Your marketing team would love to derive better insights from your customer data, but your ERP system is not supported by their fancy cloud service? Your developers must wait several days to get an...

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Quantum Computing: Where to Start Today

Quantum computing is one of those topics that always seem to exist just out of our reach. Well over a decade ago we were promised that a real quantum computer will appear just in a few years, and for most people, this feeling remains the same even now. But is this assumption correct? Do we really need to wait a few years more until the fastest, biggest, and most reliable quantum computers will finally find their way into every industry? Or is it something we should already be considering today? Understanding (or at least trying to) quantum computing Now, I will not attempt to explain...

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Oracle’s Crypto-Secure Data Management

Oracle has unveiled new interesting capabilities in the Oracle database today, which they refer to as Immutable and Blockchain tables . While I am not entirely convinced by the names they have chosen, I can absolutely get behind the overall Crypto-secure data management concept that has emerged along with them. Whenever people discuss various applications of cryptography for information protection, they almost inevitably tend to think about encryption or, in other words, protecting the data’s confidentiality. However, while keeping the data out of reach of unauthorized persons...

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Zero Trust: We’re Nowhere Near the End of the Story Yet

Oh, how time flies! It seems that the whole story of Zero Trust as a revolutionary concept for designing computer networks began just yesterday, but it’s been over a decade already. In fact, the very idea that was later somewhat awkwardly named “de-perimeterization” was being discussed nearly 20 years ago. Back then, in the early 2000s, years before the era of the cloud and ubiquitous presence of smart mobile devices, organizations were already feeling the pressure to reorganize their networks for the digital transformation – establishing communications to their...

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This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

I had no intention to write any blog posts during the holidays or, God forbid, do any predictions for the next year (look how relevant last year’s predictions turned out to be). However, an interesting story involving Ticketmaster, a large American ticket sales company, has caught my eye and made me think once again about my career in cybersecurity. The whole story goes all the way back to 2013, but the details have only recently been unsealed after the company has entered into a plea agreement and agreed to pay a $10 million fine for illegal access to a competitor’s...

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MySQL Analytics Engine: Almost Too Good to Be True?

Whether you’re a fan of MySQL or not, you cannot dispute the fact that it is the world’s most popular open-source database by a large margin (incidentally, it’s also the second most popular database ever, behind only its owner Oracle’s flagship commercial product). 25 years after its inception, MySQL has evolved into an essential and truly ubiquitous component of every web application stack and cloud platform. Even though some database experts might frown upon it for lacking “enterprise capabilities”, it is widely used by the largest enterprises around...

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Cybersecurity Awareness – Are We Doing Enough?

It’s October and it means that we are having the European Cybersecurity Month again. ECSM is the European Union’s annual campaign dedicated to promoting cybersecurity among EU citizens and organizations. To be completely honest, I do not remember it being much of a thing in previous years, but apparently, in 2020, cybersecurity awareness is much more important for the European Commission and not without, ahem, a very big reason. I have always had mixed feelings about the whole notion of “awareness”. On one hand, raising awareness is basically what we analysts...

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The Story of Edge AI

Whether you are a firm believer in the bright future of Artificial Intelligence or somewhat of a skeptic like me – you simply cannot ignore the great strides AI technologies have made in recent years. Intelligent products powered by machine learning are everywhere: from chatbots to autonomous vehicles, from predicting consumer behavior and detecting financial fraud to cancer diagnostics and crop harvesting. There is however a major factor limiting even further applications of AI and ML in almost any industry: AI algorithms are very computationally intensive and until quite recently,...

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Oracle Delivers on Earlier Cloud Promises

Back in February (oh, how time flies! Just to think that it was right before the  beginning of the  COVID-19 pandemic…) I wrote a blog post looking at Oracle’s ambitious plans for developing  its  cloud strategy and expanding  its  worldwide infrastructure footprint. The post was titled “ Will 2020 Be the Year of Oracle Cloud? ” and just five months later the company has already demonstrated that it  does not just  finally  have   a  promising  vision for Oracle Cloud, but also a...

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The Latest Twitter “Hack” Raises Inconvenient Questions

It looks like the whole world is currently talking (at least, tweeting) about the latest large-scale Twitter hack. High profile accounts of the likes of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos, as well as companies like Apple or Uber, were suddenly promoting a cryptocurrency scam. At first, they referred to a specific crypto-related website, but as it was quickly taken down, the hackers switched to spreading multiple Bitcoin addresses, asking people to send money to them to get a double amount of their investment back. Even though this type of scam is nothing new and...


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