April 25, 2016

Cyberattack prediction to improve drastically

AI2, as the new system is called, merges analyst intuition with AI. The researchers believe they can obtain an 85 percent prediction rate with the combination. That’s “roughly three times better than previous benchmarks,” the publication says. AI2 plows through the data looking for patterns, as do other detection systems. When it finds something, it tags it and alerts the human analyst, which is pretty run of the mill. Nothing special there. Where it gets clever is that after the analyst has made a determination—bad code, good code—the AI system takes over again and pumps that knowledge back into the machine. Thus the feedback from the human analyst gets incorporated into the learning.

Q&A: Bill Gates

For a lot of energy innovations, you’ve got to give government credit. With nuclear energy, all the key research was done either by the government or by government funding. With fossil fuels, there was clearly some spillover effect from the digital revolution to analyze geological data, but it was government investing that helped to get to this incredibly precise horizontal drilling capability. So basic R&D spending has been the thing that has driven most of the breakthroughs. We do need private-sector risk-takers to go out and scale the stuff up, which is why we paired the idea that 20 leading countries must double their energy R&D over the next five years with a group of investors [the Breakthrough Energy Coalition] that will take on funding high-risk, breakthrough companies.

How Israel is rewriting the future of cybersecurity and creating the next Silicon Valley

Israel is a land of mystery, science, faith, reason, tension, and peace. Today, it is most widely known for its long-smoldering geopolitical conflict and its religious sites held sacred by four world faiths. But, the aspect of modern Israel that is having the most significant impact on global civilization in the 21st century often goes under the radar. Since the rise of the personal computer, Israel has been quietly making major contributions to the technologies that are transforming humanity and giving people tools to solve age-old problems in powerful and exciting news ways. And, these contributions to the global technology ecosystem have accelerated in the past two decades.

Bitcoin, Schmitcoin. The Real Breakthrough is the Blockchain Behind It

“Reliable,” “permanent.” Not words we’re used to in the online world. But the distributed nature of the blockchain and the strength of the cryptography make sabotaging the blockchain unusually tough for would-be hackers or terrorists. (Cough, cough: digital banking records.) And the system’s continually being strengthened. The blockchain community is currently prioritizing scalability—the bitcoin system’s still a bit slow—and locking down privacy. Given the permanence of the blockchain's record, there’s a lot of info to, well, hide. Also, there's a debate raging within the community about whether there should be multiple blockchains for different uses, or one for everything. We're not taking sides.

How cloud computing and the on-demand economy are remaking IT careers

Evidence suggests more businesses will need specialist managers to take control of a portfolio of diverse IT projects. Research from the Tech Partnership and Experian suggests future growth in specialist technology roles is likely to be greatest amongst IT directors, with 37.5 per cent growth between 2015 and 2025. Interestingly, the demand will only be part met by churn within the profession. New entrants will fill most opportunities (81 per cent), including job changers from non-technology positions. BCS director of professionalism Adam Thilthorpe says there is a notable upwards trend in the amount of people -- from all kinds of disciplines -- who see their future in IT. "I would argue that we need evangelists for the positive power of IT in all areas of the business," he says.

Why IoT Affects Every Industry Today. Yes! Including Yours.

All physical devices that play an important part in our daily lives can be IoT devices. What makes them unique is that they have sensors, actuators, and embedded communication hardware to remain connected to the internet. ATMs were the first IoT-related devices that were in use as early as 1974. The story of the ATM’s rapid rise to ubiquity is also one of a revolution in retail banking. The staff at modern retail-banking branches are now free to engage customers in higher-value services, such as insurance, mortgages and stock-market trading. ... This innovation opened the door to more advanced customer services like telephone and Internet banking. That’s the power of IoT devices! As technology protocols are advanced, more and more devices have now begun to interact with each other. Together, they have become more aware, autonomous and capable of providing actionable insights into the world around us.

Bangladesh Bank attackers used custom malware that hijacked SWIFT software

There are still many unknowns about the well-planned Bangladesh Bank heist, such as who was behind it, how they got into the bank's network in the first place, and how they initiated the rogue transfers. However, the existence of this custom malware toolkit should serve as a warning to other financial institutions. "This malware was written bespoke for attacking a specific victim infrastructure, but the general tools, techniques and procedures used in the attack may allow the gang to strike again," the BAE researchers said. "All financial institutions who run SWIFT Alliance Access and similar systems should be seriously reviewing their security now to make sure they too are not exposed."

Navigating the Data Breach Regulatory Maze

In addition to incident variability, data breach laws are a maze of growing complexity and ambiguity. There are 51 state and territory breach notification laws that have different definitions of personal information, allow varying exceptions and have different requirements regarding notification thresholds, content and timing. And these laws are rapidly changing and getting stricter: In 2015 and the first part of 2016, 10 states enacted new addendums or breach laws. Adding to the complexity is a plethora of federal regulations and standards—HIPAA, GLBA and PCI to name a few—as well as international laws and the long awaited European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The primary struggle for privacy and compliance professionals is lack of consistency given the manual and highly subjective methods of conducting the required multifactor risk assessments. 

IoT Security Will Reach $840 Million By 2020, Garter Finds

"Gartner forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from 2015, and will reach 11.4 billion by 2018," Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner, wrote in Monday's report. "However, considerable variation exists among different industry sectors as a result of different levels of prioritization and security awareness." IoT devices used across vertical industries will be the largest area of growth, followed by energy management, automotive applications, and the consumer-driven IoT category. From 2013 through 2020, Gartner expects IoT endpoints to experience an annual growth rate of 32%, and for endpoint spending to be dominated by connected cars and machinery, such as commercial aircraft, as well as farming and construction equipment.

Software audits: How high tech plays hardball

Technically, a software audit is a way to prove you've installed only software you've paid for, or for a publisher to prove you've installed or used too much. But the audit process often ends by the customer signing a check -- either to pay for software that was over- or misinstalled, or to strike a new deal for a longer-term commitment “There is going to be a sale at the end of an audit," says Peter Turpin, vice president at Snow Software. "Auditing is a way of collecting money for the software a customer has installed. Therefore you need to pay for it.” But major publishers also use the threat of an audit as a way to close new deals, says Craig Guarente, co-founder of Palisade Compliance, which helps enterprises manage Oracle licensing issues.

Quote for the day:

"You will face your greatest opposition when you are closest to your biggest miracle." -- Shannon L. Alder