Blog posts by Alexei Balaganski

Blog

Finding a Setting Worthy of Your “Crown Jewels”

Modern businesses depend on digital information. For quite a few years already, it’s been considered the world’s most valuable commodity, worth more than oil, gold, or even printer ink. Some of the world’s largest companies have turned data into their primary source of income, generating billions in profits every year, but for the rest of us, there is always data that is critical for our business’s success or even basic survival. Information such as intellectual property, customer data, or financial records is rightfully called “crown jewels.”...

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Low-Code Should Not Be Low-Effort for Vendors

The idea of low-code/no-code (LC/NC) application development seems to be extremely popular nowadays, to the point of it almost becoming a marketing buzzword similar, say, to “Zero Trust”. For decades, creating “proper” application software was a complex and tedious process that required qualified professional developers to produce even the smallest app. Organizations only had two choices: either purchase an existing off-the-shelf product from a software vendor or commission an internal or external development team to design, code, test, and deploy a custom...

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Brace Yourselves: A New HeatWave is Coming

I’ve always been a bit baffled by the enduring popularity of MySQL. I mean, it’s great and we have been using it in many internal projects for years, but what makes it so popular even nowadays, when the competition from other vendors, commercial or open-source, is so strong? And yet, 26 years after the first release, MySQL is still the most popular open-source database in the world, an integral part of every web development stack, the one product you expect to find on every hosting platform, and, of course, in every public cloud. MySQL: a database for all applications?...

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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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