Planet Mainframe News

SC Media Honors Rocket Software’s Cynthia Overby for Career in Mainframe Security

SC Media, a publication of the CyberRisk Alliance, has announced its five 2023 Women in IT Security Honorees. Among the five honorees is Rocket Software’s Cynthia Overby, lauded for her expertise and leadership in mainframe security.

Today Overby works as director of security and customer solutions at Rocket Software, but she began her career during the 1970s as a systems programmer at Sundstrand Corporation. In 1978, she was promoted to the position of security officer, though at the time, Overby recalls that mainframe security was not a primary concern:

“Back in those days, security was just kind of an offhand, ‘Well, maybe we want to do it, maybe we don’t, and how can we do it?’ type of thing,” Overby said. “It didn’t really begin on the mainframe until the SHARE [user group for IBM mainframe administrators] security project actually developed a white paper.”

Overby went on, with her husband, to found and develop KRI, a provider of information security services, which they eventually sold to Rocket Software. “I’m very proud of the fact that that we were able to join Rocket,” she said. “It’s an amazing organization that really respects its employees, so the cultures really matched.”

To other women who are interested in a career in cybersecurity, she offers this advice:

“Take a look at the different infrastructures that are out there, whether it be network, Unix, mainframe, distributed, and become an expert in one of those specific arenas,” she said. “Go deep. Don’t go broad, but go deep. Pick something that you really like doing.”

Source: SC Media

IBM Accelerates Enterprise AI With New Suite of Offerings

IBM has just announced a new suite of AI offerings for IBM Z designed to ease the implementation of AI on the mainframe. IBM says that the new offerings will be applicable across a wide variety of use cases and industries. 

These new offerings include two developer toolkits:

  • AI Toolkit for IBM Z and LinuxONE will support popular industry standard open-source frameworks so businesses can start implementing trustworthy AI.
  • Python AI Toolkit for IBM z/OS is a  library of open source Python software to support AI and machine learning workloads that adheres to IBM Security and Privacy by Design practices.

According to IBM, these toolkits for Z are designed to support clients as they aim to connect mainframe data and applications to open-source frameworks and packages.

Apart from the toolkits, IBM is also offering enhancements to Machine Learning for z/OS, which will allow users to access IBM’s Additionally, Cloud Pak for Data will now be available on Z platforms, so that users can automate the process of building AI models. Finally, IBM is introducing an AI-infused z/OS update (IBM z/OS 3.1), launching on September 29. 

IBM states that, “Using the new AI System Services for IBM z/OS, the system is designed to learn and predict how to optimize IT processes, simplify management, improve performance and reduce special skills requirements.”

Put together, the announced package of AI offerings is designed to accelerate the adoption of AI frameworks and tooling. IBM says that its goal is to help clients improve business outcomes, making it easier to use AI to “enhance the accuracy of insurance policy recommendations, increasing the accuracy and timeliness of anti-money laundering controls, and further reducing risk exposure for financial services companies.”

Source: IBM

Kyndryl Survey Shows Organizations Taking Hybrid Approach to Mainframe Modernization

Kyndryl has recently completed its first global survey of 500 business and IT leaders on the current and future state of mainframe modernization for businesses. The survey finds that most organizations are still strongly committed to their mainframes, but are taking a hybrid approach to modernization. Respondents reported a collective $12.5 Billion in cost savings due to modernization.

When it comes to updating their mission-critical operations, Kyndryl reports that organizations are using three main approaches: 

  • Modernizing on the mainframe
  • Integrating with the hyperscalers
  • Moving off to the cloud. 

Almost all survey respondents use a combination of approaches, by considering the capabilities of each platform and tailoring projects to their business and technical needs.

The survey also highlights the ongoing importance of the mainframe for organizations, despite the shift to a hybrid approach for mission-critical operations:

  • 95% of respondents are moving at least some of their mainframe applications to cloud or distributed platforms, on average 37% of their workloads. Only 1% of respondents plan to move all workloads fully off the mainframe.
  • 90% of respondents state that the mainframe remains essential to their business operations due to its high levels of security, reliability, and performance, while having the flexibility to move to cloud platforms for efficiency.

Source: PR Newswire

Sonja Soderlund is an Oregon-based B2B freelance writer. Whether writing about mainframe computers, educational technology, or sustainable retail, she strives to bring clarity to complex issues. Connect with her at or LinkedIn.