From the Editor

Live by Sword, Die by the Sword

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Impeachment Trial of President Donald Trump
Fires in Australia
General Qasem Soleimani Killed
Ukraine Flight 752 Shot Down
Iran Launches Ballistic Missiles toward Iraq
Protest in Lebanon
Prince Harry and Megan Markel Make Change
Earthquakes in Puerto Rico
Coronavirus from China
Earthquake in Turkey
Entire Russian Cabinet Resigns
American Embassy Attacks in Iraq
Death of Kobe Bryant and Friends
Peace Treaty Proposal for Israel
7.7 Earthquake in the Caribbean
Brexit

It has been a busy year thus far, this is by no means an exhaustive list; and it does not cover any of the events impacting you and me.

I had planned to write about the assassination of General Qassem Suleimani.

You see when I was in 6th grade, Damaris, a Cuban friend from church, taught me how to play my Father’s favorite game, chess. Once I knew the basics, I started playing chess with my Father, who was a master, at least in my opinion. In Cuba, as a child, after his regular school day, my Father would have private chess lessons; he not only excelled in his studies, but loved the game.

Sitting down to a game of chess, with my Father, was not relaxing, for him it was not just a game; rather a way to demonstrate and refine your intellectual abilities.

The question he most often asked, when I was about to move a piece, was what will be my next three moves? I remember the first time he asked me that, I went completely blank; I was thrilled to know what my first move was, I could not possibly fathom what would come next.

But playing with my Father I learned that a winning strategy had to be built, it did not come with just one move. As time passed, I became a fair chess player, and certainly loved the game, in no small part because it was something, which I could share with my Father.

I will say it took me many years to beat my Father, at a game of chess; however, I did win against others, and those moments led to a fantasy, which I nurtured for quite a while. I imagined myself being such an outstanding chess player, that I was invited to Cuba, to play against Fidel Castro; my families and many others nemesis.

In my world, Fidel was responsible for everything, which had ever gone wrong with our life; I dreamed of a world without him, convinced everything would be fine if he was no longer able to keep my family and the thousands of other Cuban families, separated from each other and their country.

Thus, in my fantasy, I would meet Fidel to play chess, and being given this access, find a way to end his life. Now, I will admit I did not work out exactly how Fidel would meet his demise, but I knew I would be the heroine of that story! Yes, I knew that my desire to “take Fidel out” was morally and legally wrong, and certainly not anything close to what imitating Christ, should look like; but Fidel was an evil man.

Perhaps, I should be embarrassed to admit any of this, but when I learned that General Qassem Suleimani had been killed by a drone, my first reaction was that I could not believe we, the United States, had actually killed him. I had heard the reports that stated an individual of great importance had been killed in a drone strike, but I did not imagine General Suleimani was the target. As soon as his death sunk in, I told Kate, who was sitting next to me, I wish we had had that technology in the 1960’s. I went on to tell her, can you imagine if we had been able to take out Fidel like that?

My Cuban fantasy life returned, with thoughts about what Cuba would have been spared the anguish that man brought, if Fidel had been executed in say 1960. Of course, sooner would have been better; but in my head or heart, I would like to think I might have given him time to perhaps do the right thing, though we all now know he was never going to do the right thing.

I have read and listened to the castigations, being leveled against the United States and President Trump, for caring out the execution of a man responsible for both domestic and international violent and inhumane behavior; but I neither mourn Mr. Suleimani’s loss, nor do I condemn President Trump’s choice.

Mr. Suleimani chose to live by the sword, thus he could not be surprised to die by the sword; I believe we reap what we sow.

The Iranian Revolution has destroyed Iran, exactly like the Cuban Revolution destroyed Cuba. While both Cubans and Iranians, pre their respective revolutions, would state that their countries, could keep pace with any nation in the developed western world, after the bravado that both cultures share, is tampered down, we would admit to maybe not being quite comparable to those first world countries, in 1959 of 1979, but we were holding our own, and working to improve our worlds. Today, both countries are far from where they were at, at the dawn of their revolutions.

But it has been a busy news month, and instead of giving you my opinion on the commonalities of Iran and Cuba, or further discussing Mr. Suleimani’s crimes against humanity, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by the world’s reaction, not to Mr. Suleimani’s death, which I thought may lead to war, but the reaction to Kobe Bryant’s death.

Kobe Bryant, was killed in a helicopter accident, along with eight other people, including his daughter Giana. He was a man who had a successful career in basketball, and had moved on to storytelling, also finding triumph. Mr. Bryant was accused and arrested for rape, though he apparently lived long enough to rewrite his epithet, and that case is barely now mentioned.

Yes, when I saw the news that he had perished, at such a young age, I was shocked; further despair came to me when I learned that his daughter had died with him. I grieve for his wife and children that survive him, and for those who knew him. But in the last few days, I have also read about a writer who was disciplined, by her employer, a major news outlet, because she had the audacity to bring up that besides being an outstanding athlete, he had also been arrested for rape. Mind you, we are now living in the Me Too Movement, and at this very moment, in New York City, a major Hollywood producer, is on trial, accused of rape.

After a few days, I decided I needed to know more; I went to Wikipedia, my faithful stand by, when I want information. They have a special entry on the subject: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobe_Bryant_sexual_assault_case ; this is besides the entry on the man. I read the details of his case and am left a bit sickened.

From all of the kind words being said about him, by people who knew him, he seems to have been forgiven by his wife, and lived his life in the pursuit of more noble deeds. As a Christian we are supposed to believe in redemption and second chances, and new beginnings; and I would like to think that I do. I have certainly been in need of God’s mercy, on more than one occasion; but how easily do we dismiss rape? Does being a good father, or athlete, or humanitarian, or anything else make what happened in that hotel room irrelevant? Do we judge a person by their worst choice?

So how do we mourn these men? At the end of their lives, what they will share is the month and year, which they died; and both unexpectedly. One had done nothing to redeem himself, the other perhaps had, but that is not for me to say. Yes, I think one of these men hurt countless people, while the other maybe only one woman; but how many women are there out there, who did not come forth because they knew they were not going to be believed?

These are sad days, and not the best way to start a new year; I honestly do not know how to feel about the developments this month, but for what it is worth, I do not believe Mr. Bryant should replace Mr. West, on the NBA Logo. That is all for Now.

Food

Sharing with Patty
And all Connoisseur’s
Of Great Food

 

 

I often shoot pictures, of the dishes, I make, on this table top. It is the dining room table, which was Kate’s grandmother’s, Tessie, and is where we take most of our meals in Maine; and it is adorned with one of my favorite textiles. I happen to love the way the table looks and thus it usually makes any offerings look even better.

Today however, I am not photographing the items in this post, on this surface, simply because I like it or feel it will enhance the aesthetics; rather because we bought this hand embroidered runner in Hungry and it is from Hungry, which the photographed treasures hail!

On Patty’s recent trip to Hungry, she bought me these fanciful additions to my cupboard. It is not the first time she has brought me back some exotic delectable spice or tea or herb from one of her adventures, but it is the first since I began this column, and somehow it felt like a right proper contribution.

 

Connected

IoT It Is the Data not the Device

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The Internet of Things, IoT, is a game changer for businesses that are able to define use cases that will not only provide data critical to their business model, but will strategically help them to quickly identify opportunities.

In order to achieve the results from business, IT administrators need to understand the security challenges and work with the business to help garner the results safely. How can this be done?

A simple definition of the Internet of Things IoT is digital devices that are connected and able to transmit real time data, human interaction not needed. A tire pressure sensor that alerts the driver when tire pressure is low is an example of IoT, as are wearables and Smart Homes. Similarly, the Industrial Internet of Things IIoT, such as manufacturing plants, Industrial Control Systems, gas pipes and valves that are handled by embedded devices that control how much to open a valve via an application on a workstation. I have written about IoT/IIoT and Industry 4.0 and can be read at; http://thatisallfornow.com/?p=19938.

Additionally IoT and IIoT devices architecturally reside in different places due to the industry and business. For example, IIoT has used the Purdue Enterprise Reference Architecture. Figure shown below:

 

But it is important and today we will define IoT and IIoT as a device that is connected. It will help us to understand how to protect them and more importantly the data, that can be extracted to help business to achieve real time results, the game changer that IoT brings, real time data.

The problem has been visibility and manageability of these devices. How do we manage all the devices and verify that the configuration is correct on the device. Information technologist continue to look for a silver bullet, the solution that can fix it all. But we are looking at the problem in the wrong way. By thinking we have to protect the device, because devices are often a point of compromise, but what we need to think about is protecting the data.

This will align IT departments better to a business model of strategy and growth.

Too often in the business we look to add on, but add on security is not only expensive, but kludgy.

Once the problem has been identified, we can come up with the path that will help business. And traditionally Enterprises have been driven by the device and not the data, when it comes to cyber security.

The device can encompass everything from servers, workstations, laptops, printers, mobile devices, routers, switches, and programmable logic controllers PLC, to name just a few of the challenges that IT face in trying to secure the environment, which has led to a myriad of point solutions, and consoles too many for cybersecurity teams to manage.

Discovery of devices is an area that can lead business into very long projects, which I have personally seen IT and OT paths spending over a year, and come up with the results needed. Today there are many companies that can pull asset information on IIoT and IoT. Asset inventory is very important. What is on my network? And we certainly have seen attacks on devices that can crush assembly lines, but often the focus has been on PLC’s, and other devices that control sensors and actuators. If you are looking at an air gap environment or according to the PERA Layer 0 through 2, it is important to also grab printers and phones that are also connected to the internet. Visually, you will have a better inventory of your assets and what you need to protect. While the risk of some of those assets will be considered low, it is still necessary to know what exists in your environment.

A very difficult challenge for businesses is how to gather information from all these devices. I often find though, that the biggest challenge is the IT Admins and OT personnel. The people have been a very big contributor in both of these groups in not retrieving necessary information for the business.

It helps to start by helping both sides understand the issues that they are facing and agreeing to what is needed. In the past, cyber security professionals have focused on Confidentiality, Integrity, and then Availability, the core information security principles according to ISC2. When it comes to Operational technology, it is about availability, and also the integrity of the data is crucial.

If we do not look at all the devices when reviewing plants, we will be myopic in our focus. The devices to review, when analyzing what is in your environment includes, but is not limited to: Servers, Databases, Workstations, Laptops, Mobile Devices, Printers, Phones, Cameras, Badge Access Readers, and Building Maintenance Systems. While Plants may even have additional devices, it is important to not only know what device is on the network, but the configuration of the device and the data it is sending. This will be key in protecting the assets and help in tracing the data of information.

The future of data provided by IoT applications and how do we secure the data provided by IoT applications? Many companies are consuming the data in AWS, Azure and other cloud providers; but is the critical data secure in the cloud?

In the diagram below is IIoT Cloud Architecture:

Security for AWS and Azure include firewall settings, private key management and Virtual Private Clouds, but this is not enough to ensure security of assets. While availability is important, the integrity of the data is equally important.

IoT and the development of applications

One of the things that I have often said is that IoT applications are forcing an architecture that is not secure. Security for IoT applications does not have to be an either or situation. Cloud native security as well as IoT has moved to running containerized apps. The whole point of IoT is being able to understand sensors and the data it is able to provide in order to give the business better management. Whether it is a smart building or smart city, all presently are being run by IoT devices that need to be secured, as they push data to the Cloud. We will further explore in our next article. Meanwhile, stay secured and Connected.

Film’s Recommended by Marcial


 
 

This is a trading world and men, women and children, who cannot live on gravity alone, need something to satisfy their gayer, lighter moods and hours, and he who ministers to this want is in a business established by the Author of our nature.  If he worthily fulfills his mission and amuses without corrupting, he need not feel that he has lived in vain.

 
~ Phineas T. Barnum ~
 
Hugo, UK, 2011, 127 minutes, family drama
 
Source Code, US, 2011, 93 minutes, Science fiction thriller
 
It’s a Wonderful Life, US, 1946, 132 minutes, classic drama
 
Casablanca, US, 1942, 102 minutes, drama/romance
 
How to Steal a Million, US, 1966, 127 minutes, classic comedy
 
Beginners, US, 2010, 105 minutes, comedy/drama
 
The Debt, US, 2010, 114 minutes, espionage thriller
 
Larry Crowne, US, 2011, 99 minutes, romantic comedy
 
Ed Wood, US, 1994, 127 minutes, comedy
 
Keeping Mum, UK, 2005, 136 minutes, black comedy

The Mouse That Roared, UK, 1959, 83 minutes, comedy

The Party, UK, 1968, 99 minutes, classic comedy

Fair Game, US, 2010, 108 minutes, political thriller

The Right Stuff, US, 192 minutes, Drama

The Black Balloon US, 97 minutes, Drama


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The International Holocaust Remembrance Day     Holocaust Memorial By Ofra Friedland   There are various days, around the world, which are set aside to remember the six million Jewish people who were murdered in the Holocaust between 1933 and 1945. The International Holocaust Remembrance Day, as designated by the United Nations is January...

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Jerusalem Artichokes     I too love well-manicured flower beds that have been planned...

~ Aristophanes~

High thoughts must have high language.

My Mother’s Favorite Verse

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”~ Jeremiah 33: 3 ~

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