This message was sent to ##Email##
It didn't quite break the internet, but a four-hour outage at Amazon's AWS cloud computing division caused headaches for hundreds of thousands of websites across the United States.
Little known to consumers familiar with Amazon's online shopping site, Amazon Web Services is a giant provider of the back-end of the Internet. For sites, like Netflix, Spotify, Pinterest and Buzzfeed, as well as tens of thousands of smaller sites, it provides cloud-based storage and web services for companies so they don't have to build their own server farms, allowing them to rapidly deploy computing power without having to invest in infrastructure.
The GMIS International Board has just returned from one of our semi-annual planning meetings in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and the site of this year's GMIS MEETS conference! First off let me say if you are on the fence about attending the conference our conference planning team has chosen a fantastic location! I have also had a look at some of the presentations being submitted and combined with the keynotes already announced this is shaping up to be another top notch event (stop reading and go register now ... this article will be here when you get back!)
I wanted to take this opportunity to give a brief update as to what the GMIS International Board has been up to and what this planning weekend is all about. The planning meetings are a chance for an intensive look at what GMIS has been doing well and what we could do better. It sets the roadmap for the next 6 months to 2 years. At this year's planning meeting, we reviewed revenue outlooks and talked about ways to grow that revenue to better the organization. We also looked at the progress of the Accreditation Program, by-laws committee, and marketing committee. All programs are making great progress and updates should be out to the membership in the coming months. I wanted to take a moment to thank my fellow GMIS International Board members for a very productive weekend. This is a great team we have this year and we are building on the success of great teams of prior years. It is an honor to serve alongside them and I thank them all for taking time away from families and work for the betterment of GMIS International.
Not pictured, Lori-Ann Fox
Speaking of great teams, each of you are a part of a team in some way and the following quote is something to think about as you work in your own teams and maybe even consider joining the GMIS International leadership team in the future.
"Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results."
President, GMIS International
The 2017 GMIS MEETS conference will be held August 20–23 at the Westin Resort in amazing Hilton Head, South Carolina. Planning is well underway!
Last month, the GMIS International Board of Directors met at the Westin Resort in Hilton Head for our mid-year board meeting and conference planning. We are now even more excited for GMIS MEETS 2017! Here are a few pictures of the amazing Westin to help get everyone excited:
Many of your colleagues have already registered, so don't miss the opportunity for education and networking in sunny Hilton Head this summer! Registration rates and more information can be found online here.
Manley Feinberg: "Reaching Your Next Summit: 7 Vertical Lessons & 1 Essential Question to Lead With Impact, Regardless of Your Title"
Professionals often struggle to deliver more value under tightening business constraints and rising expectations. Add the complications of regulations, engaging a multi-generational work force, constantly evolving technology, economic pressure, plus the chaos of day-to-day life, and you have a serious challenge. Manley's Reaching Your Next Summit keynote will help equip you to lead on the edge, realize more in your life, and work every day.
Cynthia Storer: Storer served 20 years as an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency, mostly on terrorism related issues. She has since provided analysis training and education to U.S. Government intelligence agencies, was a Fellow at the Center for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland, and was a Lecturer at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina. She is currently a consultant with the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. Storer writes and speaks about counterterrorism and intelligence analysis and was featured in the 2013 HBO documentary "Manhunt". She was also featured as the lead analyst in the recent Channel 4 series "Hunted" in the United Kingdom. In September 2015, she was a guest in the Global Security Podcast series. She has an MA in International Relations from Catholic University (1991) and a BA with Honors in Government from the College of William and Mary (1986). Storer teaches Intelligence Analysis and Intelligence and Counterterrorism for Johns Hopkins University.
As always, we'll have top-notch peer and vendor-led presentations and break-out educational sessions focusing on management, technical and specialty training tracks. Thank you to everyone who submitted an abstract. We are currently reviewing all abstracts that were submitted and we look forward to sharing the full agenda soon.
With industry-leading components from Cisco and Pure Storage, FlashStack is a powerful, efficient, and evergreen converged infrastructure solution that will shorten your time to value and deliver serious ROI. It scales, without disruption, as your needs grow and provides a powerful and reliable platform.
Watch the video to learn more!
From the Desk of Thomas F. Duffy, Chair
Now that W-2's are arriving, it's time to consider how to stay safe from tax season scams. Every year, unfortunate taxpayers go to file their returns and are shocked to find that someone else has filed a fraudulent one in their name! Some innocent people also receive fraudulent phone calls from criminals impersonating tax officials. Sadly, tax fraud has only become more widespread and digital communication has opened new ways for it to happen.
While the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reports on multiple tax-payer related scams, and even publishes a "Dirty Dozen" list, three scams variants are worth highlighting: Phishing and Malware Schemes; Identity Theft and Falsely Filed Tax Returns; and Impersonation Scams. Once criminals have your information, they can also continue to commit identity theft well beyond tax season. Here are some details on each of these scams, along with how to identify them and seek help in case of identity theft.
Phishing and Malware Schemes:
The first type of scam often leads to identity theft and falsely filed tax returns, but may also result in you downloading malware. This happens when criminals send convincing phishing emails or direct you to convincing websites that appear to be IRS, state government, tax software, or financial institution websites. Their goal is to trick you into entering your login credentials, verifying sensitive personal information, or downloading malware.
Identify Theft and Falsely Filed Tax Returns:
- Never click on email links; type the organization's website into your web browser.
- If you feel something is suspicious, contact the organization through a known method, like their publicly-posted customer service line.
- Do not reply to emails or texts asking for personal or tax information.
Once criminals have your personal information, they can use it to commit identity theft or file a false tax return in your name. In this case, if the criminal files the return before you do, they are getting your refund money and forcing you to go through the arduous process of proving that it was not you who filed the return. Criminals send phishing emails or make phone calls to trick you into providing your information so that they can commit this type of fraud.
- Be wary of any contact by phone or email claiming to be from the IRS, as they do not contact taxpayers directly for this type of information.
- File your tax return as soon as you get your W-2's and other tax information. Criminals cannot successfully file a fraudulent return if you have already filed with the IRS!
Our final flavor of scam involves a criminal impersonating the IRS or a tax official, such as a tax advocacy panel or tax pre-parer. They may say you owe money to the IRS or your state tax department or may represent themselves as a trusted tax authority and request information. This contact can occur through websites, emails, or threatening calls or text messages, that seem official. Sometimes, these scammers request that their victims pay by strange methods like gift cards or pre-paid credit cards.
If you do in fact owe tax money to the IRS, you will receive an official bill in the mail first before being contacted by phone or email. For a quick reference, the IRS states that these are four things they will never do:
- ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone;
- call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer;
- threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying;
- demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
Are you looking for a way to connect with IT decision-makers?
Do you want a direct way to engage?
Do one thing. Get a GMIS Corporate Membership today.
Then do a little dance.
Because the possibilities to expand your business and your knowledge just got a bigger.
Join now! Sign up on the GMIS website.
City of Livonia, Michigan
GMIS member since 1998
Number of IT Staff: 5
IT Budget: $917,000
Q1. What has been a significant technology achievement for you or your organization?
The City of Livonia has operated the Greenmead Historic Park, for 30 years. It is a 95 acre park with more than 25 buildings. There are a couple of major events held there each year and they offer tours on Sunday afternoons, but overall the park has not been as visible as it should be. We worked with a company called Oncell last summer to develop a self-guided tour app for smartphones that allows people to walk the park, identify using GPS each location, see a picture of the building and read or listen to a short history of the structure. This has increased the use of the park and allowed people to learn about the rich history.
Q2. What Future Initiatives are you hoping to accomplish in the next year?
We are doing a major upgrade to our virtual server environment including migrating to an all flash SAN. We are also continuing to expand our use of our Office 365 solution. We are also enhancing our website. Last year we migrated to a Responsive Design, we are now reviewing all of the content and trying to improve navigation. We finally have established a GIS power users group that is exploring future enhancements to our GIS systems.
Q3. Best advice you could offer your fellow members is ...
After more than 30 years in the government IT field, I would strongly suggest that you spend the time to learn how your government works, both the official way and the "real" way. Realize that government does not always move as quickly as we would like. Finally, realize that what we do really impacts the lives of our citizens everyday, that is one of my biggest rewards and why I left the private sector (it was definitely not the pay!)
Q4. We all know GMIS membership is worth its weight in gold but what do you feel is the best benefit you get out of GMIS?
The best benefit is the networking opportunities to meet our peers, share our successes and failures, discover new ideas and approaches.
||Illinois GMIGS — Brown Bag
||New Jersey GMIS — Technology Education Conference.
Somerset, New Jersey
|April 30 - May 4
||Georgia GMIS — Spring 2017 Conference.
Jekyll Island, GA
The strengthening of cyber capabilities is an important part of China's military modernization, the government said, warning that the internet should not become "a new battlefield".
China, home to the largest number of internet users, has long called for greater cooperation among nations in developing and governing the internet, while reiterating the need to respect "cyber sovereignty".
But Beijing, which operates the world's most sophisticated online censorship mechanism known elsewhere as the "Great Firewall", has also signaled that it wants to rectify "imbalances" in the way standards across cyberspace are set.
There's a lot of speculation about what will happen to healthcare innovation and technology under the Trump administration.
How will the repeal of the Affordable Care Act impact healthcare technology? What is the future of innovation in and around value-based care delivery?
In a Nov. 10, 2016, post on CIO.com, fellow IDG Contributors Network blogger Paddy Padmanabhan predicted that "A Trump presidency is less likely to enact legislation that will result in a dismantling of any of the IT investments and infrastructure in healthcare; it's more likely to bring about policy changes that will leverage the digital infrastructure that is already in place."
The Canadian Press via CTV News
An emerging technology has caught the eye of the innovation-obsessed federal government — a platform so packed with potential, many experts believe it could comprise the foundation for the next generation of the internet.
Blockchain, as it's known, holds a vast amount of promise for transforming business sectors and the lives of ordinary people around the world, although some say it's too early to say how broad the technology's reach could be.
By Lucy Wallwork
Data has been described as the "new oil" powering our economies. It is also increasingly powering our cities. A handful of U.S. cities are starting to reap the dividends of using Big Data to help their cities flourish, replacing filing cabinets with complex data infrastructure. In the third article in this "urban challenges" series, let's look at some of the early pioneers and how we can expect data to influence the future of cities.
The move to cloud computing is daunting enough for corporations and governments, but add in the advancing Internet of Things, and any hopes of simple solutions to challenges vanish. The exponential growth of networked devices increases the magnitude of uncertainty about the role the cloud will play in delivering this ubiquitous connectivity.
Whenever just two devices communicate via an Internet connection, a path is created by which a hacker can access and compromise a network. Now, multiply these potential attack vectors by what could be 30 billion devices that could fall prey to hacks, and it is easy to grasp why some experts express trepidation about this brave new world of the Internet of Things. Information technology administrators will have to manage not only the deluge of data but also the multiplication of paths that inevitably will threaten network stability and functionality.
Suddenly, on-shoring is becoming more in vogue. Like many U.S. CIOs and their C-suite colleagues, you may be actively exploring how to duplicate or offset the loss of cost benefits from offshore/labor-arbitrage services. I have good news for you, along with a crucial tip.
Four primary factors are driving U.S. companies to make the move to onshore service delivery.
Critics once said that anyone hoping to deliver internet to remote areas via balloons had not only their work in the clouds, but also their heads. Yet earlier in February, the team behind Project Loon announced that they are years closer to their goal of "balloon powered internet for everyone," convincing some that balloons may in fact be part of the path to connecting the unconnected.
7701 Las Colinas Ridge, Ste. 800, Irving, TX 75063