March 20, 2016

Cyber-Insurance: Is It Right for Your Business?

As a result of actual and threatened events, the insurance market has responded with a new product to protect businesses from data breaches: cyber-insurance. Traditionally, businesses sought coverage for losses of data breaches under commercial property, commercial general liability, and business interruption policies for first-party losses, and under commercial liability and directors and officers liability policies for third-party losses. However, in the late 1990s, insurers began offering cyber-insurance in the form of standalone policies. Yet, despite recent data breaches, only 20 to 30 percent of American firms purchase cyber-insurance. The case law interpreting these policies is scarce, as courts struggle to define the parameters of cyber-liability. Courts are increasingly allowing plaintiffs to file creative claims against businesses in the wake of data breaches.

The future of computing

Moore’s law was never a physical law, but a self-fulfilling prophecy—a triumph of central planning by which the technology industry co-ordinated and synchronised its actions. Its demise will make the rate of technological progress less predictable; there are likely to be bumps in the road as new performance-enhancing technologies arrive in fits and starts. But given that most people judge their computing devices on the availability of capabilities and features, rather than processing speed, it may not feel like much of a slowdown to consumers. For companies, the end of Moore’s law will be disguised by the shift to cloud computing. Already, firms are upgrading PCs less often, and have stopped operating their own e-mail servers. 

Big Data for Governance - Implications for Policy, Practice and Research

This predicted growth is expected to have significant impact on all organizations, be it small, medium or large, which include exchanges, banks, brokers, insurers, data vendors and technology and services suppliers. This also extends beyond the organization with the increasing focus on rules and regulations designed to protect a firm’s employees, customers and shareholders as well as the economic wellbeing of the state in which the organization resides. This pervasive use and commercialization of big data analytical technologies is likey to have far reaching implications in meeting regulatory obligations and governance related activities.

XGIMI projects innovation in Android entertainment

The device is ideally suited for a number of use-cases including families or students that are space-constrained or cannot accommodate a permanently wall-mounted television. It incorporates a 700 ANSI Lumens OSRAM LED projector element which is fully capable of both 1080p and 4K output, and can render 3D video, with up to a 300" diagonal width projection area. The device can also act in a "Business" mode where data from a cloud storage service or from local USB can be presented using a built-in Microsoft Office-compatible viewer. Of course, with Office 365 for Android, it's also possible to run the real thing, provided you have the right packages installed. In its pre-production configuration the device was shipped to me with a modified version of Android 4.3 using AOSP-based sources. The device uses a 1.5Ghz quad-core ARMv7-based SoC, which is comparable to that which might be used in a high-end smartphone.

Beyond Bitcoin: The blockchain revolution in financial services

Interest in the technology exploded when it became clear that blockchain can be used to document the transfer of any digital asset, record the ownership of physical and intellectual property, and establish rights through smart contracts, among other applications. By reordering and automating complex, labor-intensive processes, the technology can enable organizations to operate both faster and more cheaply. Financial institutions are exploring a variety of opportunities to use blockchain, including applications to improve and enhance currency exchange, supply chain management, trade execution and settlement, remittance, peer-to-peer transfers, micropayments, asset registration, correspondent banking and regulatory reporting.

Who Are the Bad Guys and What Do They Want?

Recent breaches at the Internal Revenue Service are a stark reminder that cyber crime is alive and well. According to Center for Strategic and International Studies, cyber crime and cyber espionage cost the global economy between $375 billion and $575 billion annually, or roughly 1% of global income. So who are those guys and what do they want? Based on interviews with several cyber security experts, this O’Reilly report provides a concise and highly informative look into various actors who populate this murky world. You’ll explore some of their methods and motivations, as well as new approaches from the both US government and private sector to help organizations manage cyber security more aggressively. ... Get a copy of this report and find out what your organization can do to deal with this ongoing threat.

Defend against ransomware with 3 easy steps

The fight to secure your business is a never-ending battle. Ransomware is a particular strain of malware that quietly works in the background to encrypt user documents with a secret cryptographic key kept at a remote location and threatens to only release this key upon payment to the perpetrators. This type of malware has mostly changed in its increasing sophistication and prevalence, as well as the use of robust encryption schemes that offer little hope of undoing by the time its nefarious encrypting work is completed. According to Software Advice, businesses are taking note of the risks surrounding this malware. Sixty-seven percent of business decision-makers claim they'd never pay a ransom to regain access to infected files, yet only 23 percent say they're "very confident" their data is secure from ransomware attacks.

Spark in Action Book Review & Interview

Project Tungsten is one of these efforts under “get Spark as close to bare metal as possible” umbrella, where the goal is to remove any general-purpose software between Spark and the operating system (Tungsten allows Spark to bypass JVM and do memory management by itself). Tungsten makes a lot of sense, mainly because it makes a large class of JVM-related problems go away, garbage collection being the main one. Since end users are not managing memory manually, there’s no risk of getting segmentation fault errors, so the full potential is there to give Spark arbitrary large chunks of off-heap memory with significant performance improvements without any down sides that would be visible from the end user perspective.

Why Central Banks Should Start Issuing Electronic Money

The Bank of England currently issues central bank money reactively: it issues banknotes in whatever quantities are needed to meet demand from the public, and issues central bank reserves in order to meet demand from the banks. It could choose to issue digital cash in the same way, by providing the infrastructure for Digital Cash Accounts but letting the public determine how to split their holdings of money between bank deposits and digital cash. ... Alternatively, by taking a proactive approach to issuance, the Bank of England could use digital cash as a monetary policy tool to stimulate aggregate demand and influence the economy. If every citizen had a Digital Cash Account at the Bank of England (either directly or indirectly), then it would be a simple process for the Bank of England to make small and occasional ‘helicopter drops’ of newly created digital cash to every citizen.

What Should Data Scientists Know About Psychology?

How data is collected informs what we can conclude from that data. Many methodological confounds exist in relation to what can be extrapolated from data to maximize the ecological validity of what can be accurately concluded. Implementing quality assurance in collecting data, such that what is supposed to be measured is indeed being measured requires manipulation checks, quality testing and research. Then how the data is coded and quantified creates another lens of possible distortion. Poor measurement cannot be fixed post-hoc in already collected data. Furthermore, because statistics requires the calculated assumption of error (unlike formal mathematics) how one implements data mining/management decides on appropriate statistical analysis and interprets the results is of utmost importance in a field of scientific inquiry.

Quote for the day:

"Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible." -- M.C. Escher