Daily Tech Digest - November 24, 2016

Is the speedy Surface Book i7 too expensive for IT?

This device is a workhorse wrapped up in an attractive design and it will undoubtedly serve anyone well in the enterprise. ... It's likely that this device will be cost prohibitive for businesses and reserved for those who run heavy software day in and day out, or work with video and photo editing software on a regular basis. It's a great alternative to the Apple devices that companies often turn to for creative workers, especially if IT wants to keep everyone in the same ecosystem. Even though the Surface Book i7 might not find massive popularity in the average workplace, Microsoft hopes it will find an eager audience in industries like engineering and design. The Performance Base was specifically built with these types of workers in mind and it can handle professional design and editing software, including 3D CAD software, which is typically used in engineering disciplines and architecture.

Behavioral threat assessment means real-time threat detection

BTA tools create a behavioral threat assessment by plugging into security information and event management tools, intrusion detection systems and intrusion prevention systems and others -- like firewalls -- and importing their log information. They then perform correlation analysis on that information to determine what behavior is normal for users, devices and systems. The next step for developing a behavioral threat assessment is additional analysis to determine whether anomalous behavior is just that -- anomalous, but harmless -- or represents a true threat. BTA products do all this by applying machine learning to the data streams so that security analysts don't need to program in rules about what comprises normal behavior.

Why CXOs should understand the assumptions behind predictive analytics

Proponents of predictive algorithms also argue that algorithms, ultimately a series of mathematical functions, are inherently unbiased. The designers of these algorithms may have included assumptions and shortcuts to model complex environments, or over or underrepresented some variables, but these can ultimately be tweaked and improved with relative ease. Like any system, a predictive algorithm is only as good as its model and the data that are available, once again validating the old computing axiom of GIGO. Proponents ultimately argue that any "bias" inherent in an algorithm is the fault of the creators, not the math itself. In the case of Chicago's gun violence predictive toolkit, proponents also argue that any flaws in the system are ultimately outweighed by the benefit of saving lives.

How security collaboration will prove vital in 2017

What’s needed is a platform through which the cybersecurity community can create and share vendor-neutral security orchestration models (defense strategies) which can then be internally rated by community members and updated as needed, rendering them ready for adaptation by organizations – no matter which security products they use. If an organization is lacking a security function that the model requires, the organization can be alerted and the gap filled. Orchestration models can also be created for specific verticals and tailored to the needs of specific organization types such as banks, retail, healthcare, or critical infrastructure, for example, or developed to specifically combat known hacker groups and their attack patterns, or both.

Desperately seeking cybersecurity help

Security intelligence requires the real-time collection and analysis of massive amounts of information and it’s easy to miss clues. To take one example, a study by the Ponemon Institute, found that it took organizations an average of 256 days to detect advanced persistent threats already residing in their systems. ... Advances in the related domains of artificial intelligence, data mining, machine learning and cognitive computing are feeding new optimism about the battle against cybercrime. Earlier this spring, computer scientists demonstrated how adaptive cybersecurity technologies can filter through millions of log lines each day to flag only the suspicious items. Over the course of a recent three-month-long test, an MIT system logged data from an unnamed e-commerce platform and successfully detected 85 percent of the threats without even needing human assistance.

10 most difficult IT jobs for employers to fill

The breakneck pace of technological innovation in an era of digital transformation has made it difficult for companies to find and land talent with the right mix of cutting-edge skills and experience. ... "In IT, most mid- to senior-level folks currently in the market have advanced to where they are because of their technical skills, not based on their management and soft skills. What that means is that certain roles are incredibly hard to fill, as they need both the technical savvy, as well as domain- and industry-specific expertise and leadership skills. Whenever you're asking a candidate to wear two different hats -- in this case, technical and management -- you're inherently making these roles harder to fill as the pool of qualified candidates becomes smaller," Sigelman says.

How to get more from Windows Defender by using its command-line tool

Since Windows Defender has a Windows UI and performs most of its operations in the background, you may be wondering why anyone would want to use it from the command line. Well, the truth is that the command-line version is useful in situations where you want to be able to automate and customize Windows Defender's standard operations. Furthermore, as I mentioned, there are some advanced operations you can only perform from the command line-version. You may not use some of those operations often, but it's nice to know that they are available. To find the command-line version of Windows Defender, just open File Explorer and navigate to C:\Program Files\Windows Defender. When you get there, look for a file by the name of MpCmdRun.exe

Internet trust at all time low: 5 ways of regaining it

“Everyone knows that data security is a major issue for both consumers and businesses, yet companies are not doing everything they could to prevent breaches.” “According to the Online Trust Alliance, 93% of breaches are preventable. And steps to mitigate the cost of breaches that do occur are not taken – attackers cannot steal data that is not stored, and cannot use data that is encrypted.” “This status-quo isn’t good enough anymore. As more and more of our lives migrate online, the cost and risk of a data breach is greatly increased, and will lead to lost revenues and a lack of trust.” With a reported 1,673 breaches and 707 million exposed records occurring in 2015, organisations must change their stance.

The Uncertain Future of Fintech

Traditional financial institutions continue to face challenges, with less than half (44.0%) of executives at legacy financial firms confident in their fintech strategy. This is not surprising given only about one-third (34.7%) affirmed they have a well-structured or proactive innovation strategy in place that is embedded culturally. The risk-averse nature of traditional firms also makes it difficult for them to create cultures that prioritize innovation, and 40.3% of executives said that theirs is not conducive to innovation. “Financial services senior executives are seeing fintech firms in a whole new light as they see greater opportunities to collaborate, but are also making significant headways in building more agile, in-house fintech capabilities.” said Thierry Delaporte, Head of Capgemini’s Global Financial Services Business Unit.

Machine Learning: The More Intelligent Artificial Intelligence | Part 2

So, how smart is machine learning compared to AI? Baikalov insists that it is a lot smarter because science-fiction style AI, or the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior, doesn't exist. “Machine Learning is a subset of AI, along with knowledge, perception, reasoning, planning and other good stuff, says Baikalov, “And there's a lot to learn, and as the machine learns something, we say "Well, if the machine can do it, it doesn't require intelligence, and therefore it's not AI." “The core problem with AI is that it's defined relative to human intelligence, which in turn is not well defined,” explains Baikalov. “AI is created by humans, and if the humans don't understand what the intelligence is, how can they program the machine to imitate it? And does AI even need to imitate every aspect of human intelligence?”

Microsoft and Linux: Growing ties could benefit CIOs

Microsoft's ongoing cultural shift from Windows-everywhere monolith to a more open company suits Ted Ross, general manager and CIO for the city of Los Angeles. He said Microsoft has been seen as hostile to open source, but noted that the company is changing its propriety ways.  The open source direction "reflects Microsoft expanding to an understanding of what the new economy looks like," Ross said.  That new economy, he said, is "very API-driven" and characterized by a cross-platform approach in which CIOs select among numerous technology tools for the best option for a given IT workload. He said he can't rely on a single vendor, or a single operating system, to deliver the optimum digital services for his customers. He said the city's 41 departments use a number of operating systems, with Windows and Linux at the top of the list.

Quote for the day:

"Those not chasing their dreams should stay out of the way of those who are." -- Tim Fargo