July 26, 2016

In Rejecting Bitcoin as Money, Florida Court Sets Likely Precedent

"Nothing in our frame of reference allows us to accurately define or describe bitcoin," she wrote. She goes on to write that the digital currency "may have some attributes in common with what we commonly refer to as money" before going on to highlight its distributed nature, price volatility and adoption by merchants as characteristics that differentiate it from other kinds of currency. "This court is not an expert in economics, however, it is very clear, even to someone with limited knowledge in the area, that bitcoin has a long way to go before it is the equivalent of money," she wrote. Pooler noted in her ruling that the state could move, via legislative action, to craft a specific legal definition for bitcoin – a move she indicated could prevent further cases like this from potentially impacting otherwise innocent people.

How To Keep IT Moving At The Speed Of Business

To meet business-leader expectations for speed, CIOs must move beyond these approaches and equip their teams to be adaptive. In adaptive IT organizations, the entire team collaborates, flexes, and applies judgment based on context. The result is faster clock speed -- the end-to-end pace at which IT understands business needs, decides how to support those needs, and responds by delivering capabilities that create value. Our IT Clock Speed Survey revealed that 17 of the top 20 opportunities to accelerate IT speed occur in the early stages of a project, before any development activities. The opportunities include activities such as approving project plans, negotiating with vendors, and estimating the project costs and effort. Taking advantage of the top 20 acceleration opportunities (by employing the tactics suggested in the article) can cut up to five weeks from a six-month project.

If Financial Systems Were Hacked - Joker In The Pack

Financial institutions have endless virtual doors that could be used to trespass, but one of the easiest to force is still the front door. By getting someone who works at an FMI or a partner company to click on a corrupt link through a “phishing” attack (an attempt to get hold of sensitive information by masquerading as someone trustworthy), or stealing their credentials when they use public Wi-Fi, hackers can impersonate them and install malware to watch over employees’ shoulders and see how the institution’s system functions. This happened in the Carbanak case: hackers installed a “RAT” (remote-access tool) to make videos of employees’ computers.

Russia is on the verge of a ‘major breakthrough’ in artificial intelligence

In the last half-century, since the notion of AI was officially coined, the term has created some buzz but has not fulfilled the hype, according to Samsonovich. “A major breakthrough was expected to happen from year to year, but it did not,” he told Digital Trends. “As a result, the idea was discredited. There are reasons to think that now we are really close to the breakthrough, as never before. And as an indirect evidence, the last few years showed rapid exponential progress in AI research, in terms of the number of publications as well as the money invested by governments and companies.” ... “Today’s obstacles are mainly limited to psychological barriers,” he said. “We already have the necessary hardware and most of the necessary theoretical foundations. Still, people tend to think within the limits of popular paradigms, or not to think at all

So you want to be a security researcher?

Security research isn’t only fun, it provides a way to potentially discover new things, or even help put misconceptions to rest, help improve the security of a software application or device, and raise security awareness. But, as Hay made clear during his talk, there’s more to consider and lot more work to be done than running a fuzzer against an app, and that there are important choices to be made before diving in. Hay laid out everything anyone who would be interested in trying their hand at security research would need to know before they get started. Hay would know, recently he and his partner saw the release of the high tech Hello Barbie Doll as a catalyst for research

Analyzing an Organization’s Vulnerability Footprint from an Adversary’s Perspective

By changing the perspective, increasing the volume of data and applying advanced analytics, an organization can have a clearer view of true risk, exposure and malicious activity. This vantage point provides potential weaknesses, vulnerabilities and threat vectors that may highlight risks involving anomalous activities. “Defending against sophisticated and evolving threats is an analytics problem squarely at the crossroads of big data and supercomputing,” said Barry Bolding, chief strategy officer at Cray. “This combination of Cray’s analytics platform and Deloitte Advisory’s threat risk management service is a formidable solution in the war on cyber-threats. Additionally, for the first time, customers can now utilize the power and capabilities of a Cray solution as-a-service.”

The virtues of redesigning procurement for strategic business agility

Whether financial services companies realize it or not, there’s a lot of agility built into that. There are some firms, some third parties, that a financial services firm will use to get those shareholder reports out. They send them the monthly reports, and the companies have very high volume, very excellent quality controls. Post offices are on-site. They don’t even truck it to the post office; the post office is sitting right there, and the mailings go out. When you need to do something, for example a special mailing on a particular fund or shareholder meetings that might only be held once every couple of years, you find yourself in a situation where those kinds of networks don’t serve you very well, and you have to kind of assemble and disassemble temporary networks.

Technology-adoption, Wardley-maps and Bimodal-IT

In most cases, the big-consultancies' business-model depends on having a few highly-experienced consultants visit the client, and then doing the rest with cookie-cutter work done by large numbers of relative newbies billed at 'consultant' rates. Yet the Settlers' role is different in every case: so in effect the expanded bridge would tie up all of the experienced consultants, and still be too context-specific to build cookie-cutter models that would actually work well enough for newbies to be let loose with them. The result is that Bimodal-IT (or bimodal-whatever-they're-selling-now) becomes 'a bridge too far', in which a much-needed bridge either doesn't even exist at all - because it's too difficult and/or expensive for either party - or at best ends up floating in the middle of nowhere, drifting uncomfortably somewhere between Unorder and Order

Ransomware 2.0 is around the corner and it's a massive threat to the enterprise

The next step in the evolution of malware will be ransomware 2.0, which Brvenik said "will start replicating on its own and demand higher ransoms. You'll come in Monday morning and 30% of your machines and 50% of your servers will be encrypted. That's really a nightmare scenario." Ransomware campaigns started out primarily through email and malicious advertising, but now some attackers are using network and server-side vulnerabilities as well. Self-propagating ransomware will be the next step to create ransomware 2.0, and companies need to take steps to prepare and protect their company's network, Brvenik said. New modular strains of ransomware will be able to quickly switch tactics to maximize efficiency.

Securing Data Provides Canadian Online Bank Rapid Path to New Credit Card Business

We in the banking business are in the business of trust. In everything that we do, trust has to be number one. We have to be ready for any kind of questions from our client base on how we handle the information. There's no doubt that transparency will help, and over time, with transparency, our clients learn that we're up-front in how we're using information. And it's not just transparency, but also putting the information in a way that's easily understandable up-front.  If you look at our registration process, one of the first thing that we tell people is "Here is our not-so-fine print." It's in big, bold fonts and that’s very important, because especially in a digital bank, a lion's share of the interactions are through non-face-to-face kind of interactions.

Quote for the day:

"Great achievers are driven, not so much by the pursuit of success, but by the fear of failure." -- Larry Ellison