Daily Tech Digest - January 03, 2017

How Advanced Analytics Can Shore Up Defenses Against Data Theft

One approach is to implement an unsupervised, machine learning protective shield that delivers a defense layer to fortify IT security across EHR platforms and other hospital IT systems. A self-learning system then would have the flexibility to cast a rapidly scalable safety net across an organization’s information ecosystem, distributed or centralized, local or global, cloud or on-premise. Whether data resides in a large health system or small chain of clinics, rogue users are identified instantly. By applying machine learning techniques across a diverse set of data sources, systems become increasingly intelligent by absorbing more relevant data. These systems can then help optimize the efficiency of hospital security personnel, enabling organizations to more effectively identify threats. 


5 ethics principles big data analysts must follow

"At this point in our history... we can process exabytes of data at lightning speed, which also means we have the potential to make bad decisions far more quickly, efficiently, and with far greater impact than we did in the past." Besides the potential for bad decisions, Etlinger believes that humans place too much faith in technology, including, for example, our blind acceptance of charts and graphs developed from big data analysis. As to what might be done to improve the situation, Etlinger and Jessica Groopman write in their Altimeter report The Trust Imperative: A Framework for Ethical Data Use (PDF) that businesses and organizations building and/or using big-data platforms need to start adhering to ethical principles. To incorporate ethics, Etlinger and Groopman suggest studying The Information Accountability Foundation's (IAF) paper A Unified Ethical Frame for Big Data Analysis, and paying particular attention to the following principles


10 roadmaps to IT career success

If you're considering a career in IT -- or looking to make a career change -- there's no better time than now. With salaries well above average and companies grappling with a talent shortage, you'll be well-compensated and your skills will be in high demand for years to come. Kristine Spence is a digital marketing pioneer whose career has undergone just as much of a digital transformation as the IT industry. Here, she talks about what it takes to be an innovator in the digital marketing arena. ... As organizations struggle to make sense of increasingly large amounts of customer and industry data, data scientists are becoming a must-have role for any IT department. Two data scientists for Kronos explain what it takes to succeed in one of the sexiest careers in IT today.


How technology will transform banking in 2017

Service providers are keen to capitalise on interest in the technology, and are quickly positioning themselves to advise customers that are keen to kick off pilot projects. This has lead to the likes of Capgemini and CGI snapping up blockchain expertise to build out advisory teams. Peter Roe, research director at TechMarketView, said that the blockchain ecosystem will continue to mature next year, with collaboration between smaller fintech startups and better-funded, more established vendors. “Throughout 2017, we should see further major changes to the Blockchain landscape and the emergence of some key players,” he wrote in a blog post. “Although the widespread use of Blockchain is still some way off (not helped by understandable caution in the regulator community), we can still expect plenty of activity.”


Healthcare organizations lag in digital marketing for cybersecurity strategies, study finds

Conceptually, healthcare is pursuing some advanced ideas for marketing, yet the industry’s infrastructure is not ready for many of them, Klein said. For instance, there is a lot of interest among marketing executives to upgrade their organizations’ virtual front door – the website – yet only 46 percent of respondents said their organization provides proper funding for it. And while the majority believe social media is a valuable forum, six out of 10 organizations block employees from using it, he said. The infrastructure and today’s crop of modern digital tools on top of it are an increasingly important element within not just marketing but also cybersecurity strategies. “There must be more attention placed on cybersecurity,” Klein said. “It’s scary out there and it has only begun.”


'Malicious cyber activity' has happened in previous US elections, Obama says

It's still unclear what malicious cyber activity was related to previous elections, and whether Russia was also involved in that activity. But a joint analysis report from the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said that the 2016 election activity was part of a decadelong campaign targeting government organizations, critical infrastructure entities, think tanks, universities, political organizations and corporations. The report released on Thursday details two separate Russian groups that intruded on a U.S. political party, one in summer 2015, and a second in spring 2016. Both groups use targeted "phishing" emails and camouflaged their tracks, Thursday's report said. A third attack, likely tied to Russia, was launched in November, just days after the 2016 election, the report said.


Growing the Internet of Things, part 5: Security

Ease of Use is also often a tradeoff with security. Consumers like the simplicity of new keyless entry systems on cars. When you approach the car, it unlocks, and you simply push the start button and drive away. No need to search for keys in your purse or briefcase. However, this consumer ease of use can provide a means for someone to steal the car if they either amplify the keyfob signal when you are away from the car, or if they can hack the security codes in the keyfob itself. Security can also impact Interoperability. If I build a door lock using the same technology and protocols as another connected device, but I require use of an application key and another device does not, we will not interoperate. Security has also been viewed as an interoperability problem because it has not been turned on in devices. 


A potentially fatal blow against patent trolls

The case at issue is Gust vs. Alphacap Ventures and Richard Juarez (some early rulings go into extensive background), and last month’s final ruling came from U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote. Cote found that patent troll Alphacap had pursued a case against Gust, despite the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made it clear it couldn’t succeed legally.  “It is highly, highly, highly unusual for counsel to be held directly responsible for these fees,” said Lori Smith, an attorney with the White and Williams law firm that represented Gust, an internet crowdfunding company. “I think it is going to have a significant chilling effect on patent troll litigation. You’re going to see law firms thinking twice before they take on clearly questionable patent litigation.”


Why the earliest open source licenses are still the most relevant

In fact, if we look at how open source licensing has evolved over the last two decades, there has been a dramatic shift away from restrictive licenses like the GPL and toward permissive licenses, which today account for well over 50% of all open source code, while restrictive GPL-style licenses have dwindled to just a third of all code, a percentage that keeps shrinking every year. This trend is particularly pronounced among the GitHub generation, which often hasn't licensed its code at all. All of which brings us back to where we began in open source licensing. We've gone through a period of time when we thought we needed purpose-built licenses for individual projects, but we didn't. We've also thought we needed ever more restrictive ways to protect user freedom but, again, we haven't.


Nine Ways to Protect an Enterprise Against Ransomware

Ransomware infiltrations in enterprises increased by 35 percent in 2016, according to consensus of security industry analysts and vendors, including Symantec. But even more alarming is the recent rise in its sophistication and distribution. Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system, either by locking the system's screen or by locking the users' files unless a ransom is paid. It can bring your business to a halt and cause significant financial damage. Unlike the stealthier advanced attacks that can stay undetected on corporate network for months, the impact of ransomware is immediate and intrusive. Cyber attackers don't need a lot of money, resources or technical sophistication to use ransomware. Businesses are increasingly concerned about monetary damage, business downtime and other effects of ransomware.



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"It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart." -- Suzanne Collins