Daily Tech Digest - November 23, 2017

Five Big Data Trends To Influence AI In 2018

big data
The age of Big Data has reached an all new high as disruptive and innovative digital technologies push businesses to adapt quickly in a rapidly changing consumer market. The capabilities and agility of big data combined with the scale of artificial intelligence is helping businesses across industries to understand evolving consumer behaviour and preferences, gain business intelligence and apply valuable insights when creating strategies. The convergence of big data and AI is the most significant development for businesses across the globe, enabling them to capitalise on hitherto unexplored opportunities. A major factor accentuating the importance of big data is also the massive volume of, and speed at which data is created through digital technologies and devices, providing businesses with real-time access to information from far more number of sources than ever before.

What CIOs can learn from investors when assessing fintech startups

Whether they understand the inner workings of a fintech, those in charge of the money want a return on their investments – and margins for investors in fintech can be low compared to other segments such as e-commerce, media and software. This means fintechs need a large volume of business to become profitable. However, it is possible to see these investments under a different light. To start with, investors need to consider that the dynamics of customer relationships are often different in financial services, says Degnam. “What’s attractive about financial services is that the scale of the markets is often significantly larger – sometimes in the trillions of dollars – and the customer relationships are generally longer lived. “Where it’s pretty easy for someone to shop at a different retailer, it’s much more difficult for a person to switch providers of their financial products, both in consumer and business markets,” he says.

How to better manage mixed data center environments

hybrid clouds
The paradox is that many businesses recognize the gains associated with moving to public or hybrid cloud models, but often do not fully appreciate the strategy necessary to optimize their performance. Fortunately, there are methods to help IT teams better understand how their cloud infrastructure is performing. Cloud infrastructure tools provide IT staff with greater visibility and real-time insight into power usage, thermal consumption, server health and utilization. The key benefits are better operational control, infrastructure optimization and reduced costs, no matter the shape of an organization’s cloud. So as the clouds part, let’s look at some of the ways cloud infrastructure tools can help IT teams in their transition from private to public or hybrid clouds.

The future of artificial intelligence in data centers

AI and ML have the capability to transform how data centers are run. Increasingly, the move toward virtualized and cloud-based platforms means that administrators are struggling to deal with issues. For example, the root cause could be down to any of several items, and the curing of one issue can just shift a problem to a different area on the platform. AI and ML can work from the creation of a known baseline operating condition for a platform and can then monitor any significant change to this -- and can see exactly what has caused that change. Based on empirical knowledge of the multiple different workloads concerned, the system can then automatically decide whether the change requires intervention or whether it should just wait to see if the event calms down and the platform reverts to normal conditions.

How GDPR will impact data management practices

To put the provisions of the GDPR in context, I should note the United States and Europe have very different views of data privacy. In the US, we tend to put greater value on free speech—and the right to evidence in litigation—than we do for data privacy. In fact, contrary to what many Americans think, there is no specific right to privacy in the US Constitution. American courts have interpreted certain privacy rights from amendments to the Constitution, including the first 10 amendments, known commonly as the Bill of Rights. However, the original document is silent on the issue of privacy, and it wasn't until 1965 that the US Supreme Court articulated an individual right to privacy when it overturned a state law on contraceptives in Griswold v. Connecticut.

Government urged to improve redress for mass data breaches

Despite a commitment that the government would use the Data Protection Bill to make it easier for those affected by data breaches to have a clearer right of redress, the letter claims that the bill currently fails to deliver the provisions that are needed.  The letter suggests that implementing Article 80(2) of the GDPR would create a collective redress regime for breaches of data protection law. “This would complement the existing collective redress regime introduced under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA) which applies to infringements of competition law,” the letter says, arguing that the courts have procedures and practices in place for the CRA, including ensuring only cases that have merit proceed, which could be adapted to apply to an Article 80(2) regime.

Will the end of net neutrality crush the Internet of Things?

net neutrality computer internet broadband regulation goverment
Attempts to leverage the new rules might not have be so blatant, though. A carrier might simply tell a company like GE that if it wants guaranteed prompt delivery of the data from its industrial IoT devices, it will have to upgrade to a higher — read, more expensive — tier of service to ensure the required service levels. Given the high stakes, a company the size of GE might be willing go along. But smaller businesses — especially those upstart IoT startups with the cool new ideas might — not be able to afford to pay the freight for premium net access. So, the data from its IoT devices might not be delivered for analysis in a timely fashion … or at all. For enterprise IoT users, the initial effect is likely to be higher costs to ensure access and greater uncertainty about the best ways to connect IoT devices.

3 ways to consolidate data security and disaster recovery strategies

For years, many IT leaders have outlined and executed security and disaster recovery plans as two separate programs. Now as IT evolves in a cloud era, this approach is beginning to cause serious issues for organizations. The original rationale for separating plans is founded on the idea that security prevents man-made disasters from occurring, with zero focus on recovery. This approach was in no way coordinated with the recovery plans. While the protocols for each might be unique unto themselves, it’s risky to keep security and disaster recovery as separate entities. Even with the best preventative security technology, man-made disasters can and will happen. We see examples of this time and again as major brands are headlined across the globe from widespread outages or ransomware, leaving CIOs scrambling to regain true IT resilience by combining cybersecurity with disaster recovery.

Enterprises must address Internet of Identities challenges

Enterprises must address Internet of Identities challenges
Active Directory came in through Windows servers, VPNs and VLANs came via Cisco, authentication technologies like RSA SecureID were procured and managed by security teams, etc. As a result, everyone has a piece of IAM, but no one owns it across the enterprise.  ESG research indicates that IT infrastructure operations (49 percent) bear the majority of IAM responsibility, but security (31 percent), app management (10 percent), app development (5 percent), and mobile app management (4 percent) teams are leaning in on IAM activities. Yup, when it comes to IAM, many organizations could be considered a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. IAM is a prisoner of the cybersecurity skills shortage. Security teams will be responsible for Internet of Identities policy enforcement, controls and end-to-end monitoring, but this oversight may be impacted by the global cybersecurity skills shortage.

Business Transformations caused by Business Intelligence

For us to understand the influence of business intelligence in today’s world, we need to understand the meaning of the term itself. When we separate the words, ‘business’ is defined as trading activities that involve buying and selling goods or services. ‘Intelligence’ is seen as a ‘collection of information which is perceived to be of certain value,’ in this case, economic and financial value. Combining both words gives us a clear definition of what business intelligence is about, but with a slight catch -the collection PLUS analysis of information, strategies, and software that is perceived to be of great economic and financial value for those who are at their receiving end. This collection of valuable information is subject to modifications with time as software get more efficient and better ways are discovered to enhance smooth trading transactions.

Quote for the day:

"Open Leadership: the act of engaging others to influence and execute a coordinated and harmonious conclusion." -- Dan Pontefract

Daily Tech Digest - November 22, 2017

The code of ethics for AI and chatbots that every brand should follow

The topic of chatbot ethics is complex and spans a wide area including privacy, data ownership, abuse and transparency. Rob High, CTO of IBM Watson was recently featured in an article on Forbes.com titled “Ethics And Artificial Intelligence With IBM Watson’s Rob High.” In the article, Rob talks about how in order to keep AI ethical, it needs to be transparent. Rob advises that when customers interact with a brand’s chatbot, for example, they need to know they are communicating with a machine and not an actual human. Ethics form the foundation of how a bot is built, and more importantly, they dictate how a bot interacts with users. How a bot behaves has the potential to influence how an organization can be perceived and unethical behavior can lead to consumer mistrust and litigation issues. Ethical bots can promote brand loyalty and help boost profit margins.

Machine learning can cure your terrible data hygiene

Data hygiene isn't easy. You can't hire enough interns to even come close to rectifying past mistakes. The reality is enterprises haven't been creating data dictionaries, meta data and clean information for years. Sure, this data hygiene effort may have improved a bit, but let's get real: Humans aren't up for the job and never have been. ZDNet's Andrew Brust put it succinctly: Humans aren't meticulous enough. And without clean data, a data scientist can't create algorithms or a model for analytics. Luckily, technology vendors have a magic elixir to sell you...again. The latest concept is to create an abstraction layer that can manage your data, bring analytics to the masses and use machine learning to make predictions and create business value. And the grand setup for this analytics nirvana is to use machine learning to do all the work that enterprises have neglected.

What’s Keeping Deep Learning In Academia From Reaching Its Full Potential?

Getting the most out of machine learning or deep learning frameworks requires optimization of the configuration parameters that govern these systems. These are the tunable parameters that need to be set before any learning actually takes place. Finding the right configurations can provide many orders of magnitude improvements in accuracy, performance or efficiency. Yet, the majority of professors and students who use deep learning outside of computer science, where these techniques are developed, are often using one of three traditional, suboptimal methods to tune, or optimize, the configuration parameters of these systems. They may use manual search–trying to optimize high-dimensional problems by hand or intuition via trial-and-error; grid search–building an exhaustive set of possible parameters and testing each one individually at great cost

How Will Blockchain Disrupt Insurance?

When you consider the characteristics of the blockchain in the area of claims, the far reaching effect of this innovation start to become clear. An important element of blockchain technology that is worth mentioning here is smart contracts. These are lines of code that contain rules and regulations for actions that need to be taken in the event of certain things occurring, as well as the mechanism for executing these actions. In essence, they are digital contracts that are unambiguous in their design and don’t need any human administrator to action. Therefore, instead of waiting days or weeks to settle a claim, the introduction of smart contracts could mean that claims are settled instantaneously and without the need for transmitting paper documents. Our own work with a major global insurer showed what improvements can be made. The personal injury insurance app we collaborated on allowed someone to buy an insurance policy and have it issued on the blockchain.

Technology dominates Autumn Budget as key to UK’s growth

To meet the challenge of tomorrow head on, “we need the skills,” said Hammond. In a range of initiatives, he announced three million apprenticeships to start by 2020, the introduction of the much-anticipated T-levels and a further £20 million for FE colleges to help them to prepare for this. “Knowledge of maths is key in hi-tech, cutting edge jobs,” continued Hammond. To help entice more students into maths, the Budget will help extend maths initiatives to 3,000 school and commit 40 million to train math teachers across country. Computer science is also at heart of the impending revolution, and Hammond announced that every secondary school pupil can now take this, with his plan was to triple the number of trained computer science teachers to 12,000.

The current state of Apache Kafka

Laser light show
The upside is that it lets you move fast. It adds a certain amount of agility to an engineering organization. But it comes with its own set of challenges. And these were not very obvious back then. How are all these microservices deployed? How are they monitored? And, most importantly, how do they communicate with each other? The communication bit is where Kafka comes in. When you break a monolith, you break state. And you distribute that state across different machines that run all those different applications. So now the problem is, ‘well, how do these microservices share that state? How do they talk to each other?’ Frequently, the expectation is that things happens in real time. The context of microservices where streams or Kafka comes in is in the communication model for those microservices. I should just say that there isn't a one size fits all when it comes to communication patterns for microservices.

How Artificial Intelligence is changing the world

If we go through the definition of Artificial intelligence, it will be a type of intelligence that is displayed by Machines and Devices in contrast with the Natural Intelligence i.e. displayed by Humans or other Animals. In this process, Machines and Devices are programmed in such a way that makes them capable to learn and change reaction to environment depending upon the outer Environment and Situations. In early fifty’s People believed that Artificial Intelligence, AI is nothing other than imaginary Creation of the Hollywood. But with the extent of time, progress in the science and technology leads AI to come out of the virtual world. The term is Artificial Intelligence, also known as Machine Intelligence is first coined by John McCarthy for the Dartmouth Conference. From the First Discussion, this term looks catchy and occupied the mind of teach geeks and the Imagination of People ever since.

State Bank of India's blockchain smart contracts, ID verification could boost banking security

"Smart contracts can be used for simple things like non-disclosure agreement... rather than signing forms. A lot of internal processes can be contracted," Baraokar told the Times. "We do a lot of IT procurement, a lot of it can be implemented using blockchain." The blockchain-enabled Know Your Customer (KYC) will help banks verify a customer's identity, with document requests from the bank when opening a new account. This can reduce the human and financial costs of such verification. State Bank of India is also currently designing an innovation center in Navi Mumbai, which will research emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, robotic process automation, and predictive analytics, and their potential use for making banking easier.

C-suite execs investing heavily in blockchain technology to remain competitive

Blockchain Investment
The boardrooms of the private mid-market firms that took part in the survey not only understand blockchain technology, but also see the real value in implementing it within their day to day operations. The survey found that 34% of respondents plan to use blockchain for storing and securing digital records, 24% said they will use it for executing smart contracts, and 19% said they will use it to exchange digital assets. ‘The shared-ledger technology known as blockchain is making business more efficient and transparent for companies of all sizes,’ writes the report. ‘If credit scores have long determined the terms of certain financial transactions, blockchain-based solutions will raise the stakes even more for reputation and digital identities by adding a higher level of trustworthiness to digital interactions.’

Only half of business leaders viewed as digitally literate

The global findings were released today and paint a concerning portrait for the progress to date, and future of digital transformation across the globe. The Digital Transformation Barometer data delves into digital transformation and digital literacy within leadership, as well as emerging and disruptive technologies across the globe within several industries. “With this research, ISACA’s global membership provides a digital transformation reality check that assesses actual technology adoption plans, levels of sentiment of support and concern, and monetary commitments to deploy emerging technology by geography and industry,” said ISACA CEO Matt Loeb, CGEIT, CAE. “The resounding message from our research is clear: senior leadership needs to invest in increasing its digital fluency. Organisations with digitally fluent leadership are more clearly recognising the benefits and risks of emerging technologies.”

Quote for the day:

"Leadership cannot just go along to get along. Leadership must meet the moral challenge of the day." -- Jesse Jackson

Daily Tech Digest - November 21, 2017

Consumers Want IoT Toys Regardless of Security, Survey Finds

IoT Toy Security Risk
Keeper Security's finding that consumers don't care as much as they should about IoT security is consistent with other recent studies. On Nov. 14, McAfee released its annual Most Hackable Holiday Gifts list, which reported that 20 percent of consumers would buy an IoT device with known security risks. Consumers often expect the things they buy in stores to be safe, which is not necessarily an incorrect assumption, according to Guccione. He noted, however, that consumers still need education when it comes to IoT security.  "I think [consumers] are just assuming these products are safe," Guccione said. "IoT manufacturers won't begin to take security vulnerabilities and concerns to heart until consumers demand it from them or the government enacts regulations that force them to make them safe."

Disrupt, transform or die. It’s time to enjoy the digital ride

Disrupt, transform or die. It’s time to enjoy the digital ride
Even among those businesses who have modernised their IT infrastructure, there are a whole new set of challenges to overcome, notably a lack of available skills in key areas such as DevOps delivery and agile development. Demand for IT skills is currently outpacing the worldwide growth in this talent pool. That imbalance will change over time as the greater focus on STEM subjects in schools begins to pay off, and younger, more digitally minded employees enter the workforce. In the meantime, a majority of organisations are looking to specialist services providers. According to our report, just over half (51%) of all large organisations will look for help to implement robotic process automation, while even more still will rely upon third parties for the added complexities of intelligent (63%) and cognitive (64%) automation.

CXOs: Get ready for augmented and virtual reality technology

Kai Goerlich, SAP's chief futurist at SAP's Innovation Center Network, believes that the first benefits of AR/VR for companies may well be in the areas of remote inspection and plant and equipment maintenance and in product design and simulation. "A building inspector can walk through a house with a set of AR glasses, see the blueprint of the structure overlays at the top of his AR glasses, and physically inspect the premises for smoke alarms," Goerllch said. "On the spot, he can verify if all smoke alarms are properly placed and installed, and he can note any exceptions." A second use for AR/VR inspection and maintenance involves sites that are inherently dangerous for humans to visit, such as certain areas with nuclear reactor plants or remote geographic areas that mining companies are considering for exploration.

Tips to Protect the DNS from Data Exfiltration

The most insidious path for criminals to mine data is via the Domain Name System (DNS). The DNS protocol is manipulated to act as a "file transfer" protocol and by default is seen as legitimate. Most businesses don't even know that data is being exfiltrated until it is too late. A recent DNS threat report from EfficientIP revealed that 25% of organizations in the US experienced data exfiltration via DNS, and of those, 25% had customer information or intellectual property stolen. The average time to discover a breach was more than 140 days. Considering that hackers can silently drain about 18,000 credit card numbers per minute via DNS, that's a customer database many times over. In addition, businesses aren't installing the required patches on their DNS servers, either (86% applied only half of what is necessary, according to our report), which makes sense in the case of Equifax, where apparently only one employee was responsible for patches.

Mastering change management to drive digital transformation

When faced with the task of altering the entire digital infrastructure of an organization, CIOs should adopt a mission-oriented mindset. Enacting transformational change across an entire organization requires a leader capable of engaging all departments. The ability to see the entire forest without getting hung up on each individual tree is essential to getting the job done. This perspective lends itself to an operational, rather than technological approach. My previous experience made me an unlikely candidate to lead a mid-sized city’s digital transformation efforts, if you still believe that a CIO’s day-to-day responsibilities are tech-saturated. But if “change management officer” is the new “chief information officer,” I may be a better fit. From February 2016 to February 2017, I was deployed with the US Navy; my third deployment overseas.

IoT needs to be secured by the network

IoT needs to be secured by the network
The network, Utter said, is the key battleground for future IoT security, largely because of economics – some endpoints simply aren’t able to be secured sufficiently without an unreasonable investment of money. If shipping crates with highly secure IoT endpoints attached to them cost too much, for example, that throws off a company’s entire business model.  “We need to start framing IoT in a slightly different way,” he said. “Everyone focuses on the endpoint … but I believe the network can actually be an enforcement point for IoT, because some devices will never be appropriate to have high-level security, it’s just not right in the economic model.” Major mobile data carriers, Utter argued, have a substantive part to play in keeping IoT secure. Given that an increasing number of IoT devices use LTE, LoRaWAN and even 3G to connect, the carriers can make a contribution by scrubbing data, blocking malicious devices and other active security measures.

Exploring the future of retail technology

Exploring the future of retail technology
Digital advertising can already target certain people depending on their interests and demographics via social media, but imagine if consumers could be served ads on the go based on their location. Geolocation would allow retailers to send promotions to customers’ smartphones as they pass their brick and mortar locations to offer individual promotions based on products the user had previously viewed online. Abundant internet connections will also allow store owners to quantify the in-store experience more easily. For example, it could allow customers use their smartphone to navigate the store and find items they want, or prompt them offer immediate feedback on their shopping experience. Retailers could then use this data to implement changes to store layout, staff numbers, and the availability of specific products.

Dropbox CIO Sylvie Veilleux on taking IT from 'good to great'

In many technology companies, before they hire a CIO, there's a very solid corporate infrastructure team. That team existed here and served the organization. And there were pockets of teams building applications and providing services; we had people on different teams who did that. So, it's not like there was no IT happening, but they were in different lines of business, so they weren't working as a whole. But now it's about how you take good to great. There were groups -- our product engineering team, the finance team, the HR team -- and we brought them together to see what we had for capabilities then identified the gaps. So, as part of my first few weeks, I did some assessment, looking at capabilities and infrastructure and our weaknesses and thought about how we'd build our team and address the gaps.

Challenges in HoloLens Application Development

In a nutshell, HoloLens can create hologram objects which are made of light and sound. It projects 3D holograms which are intangible and can be placed in the real world. The holographic shellrepresents a 'Mixed-Reality World' which is a combination of real-world objects and the holograms created by the system. HoloLens can create 3D holograms which can be placed alongside with real world objects, and the user can interact with them. Holograms can be attached to horizontal or vertical planes, such as room walls or floors. For example, movies can be played on the wall, internet browsers mounted on the walls, or Skype calls follow you as you walk around the space. Interactive object models can be created using Holograms to demonstrate proofs of concept. HoloLens recognizes the room model with its geo-coordinates which helps us to create location-aware applications.

The dangerous data hack that you won’t even notice

More broadly, data manipulation breeds uncertainty. When a hacker’s goal is to leak stolen information or hold data for ransom, their success depends on their ability to prove the information they hold is real. But with data manipulation, the goal is to call the underlying information into question. And uncertainty is its own weapon. Ten years ago, an announcement by the banking group BNP set the 2007 financial crisis in motion because they said they didn’t know what securities linked to subprime mortgages were worth. In today’s data-driven markets, the consequences of uncertainty for the financial industry might be far greater. Admittedly, data-manipulation hacks are not as easily monetizable as ransomware, nor do they produce as much buzz as the public release of sensitive data. But that doesn’t mean they can’t have serious financial repercussions.

Quote for the day:

"Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny." -- C.S. Lewis