Daily Tech Digest - April 11, 2017

Why a Quiet Blockchain Consortium Could Soon Make Noise

Amidst this backdrop, an upcoming piece of legislation is set to buffet the industry with a sweeping change that will produce upheaval and possibly contraction. I'm talking about MiFid II. It's hard to overstate the impact these regulations will have on asset management. Due to come into force in January 2018, MiFid II aims to increase transparency, enhancing investor protection and removing shady practices in pricing and allocation. Fund managers will be required to pay separately for research, financial advisers will no longer earn a commission and reporting requirements will multiply. And that's just scratching the surface. An independent report estimates the cost of complying with Mifid II to be more than £2.5bn. This is likely to bring about a sector shift, with many smaller firms not being able to bear the cost, and larger enterprises offsetting the increase elsewhere.


Why the board needs security leaders to fuel disciplined growth

As the risk of breaches increases, boards – whose role when they oversee the CEO is to act as fiduciaries on behalf of shareholders– are increasingly at risk of falling short of their responsibilities. While board members are not expected to be experts on information security, they must make sure that the company has the right people and processes in place to erect defenses against information security violations, to establish procedures for monitoring the level of information security, and to make sure that the right steps are taken should a security breach occur. At the same time, CISOs should educate board members about the best information security practices among peer companies as well as introducing board members to important trends in hacking and defense. Such briefings will help directors to evaluate proposals for investment of people and capital into new technologies and processes to protect companies against an ever-evolving information security threat environment.


Blockchain: The Battle To Secure Digital Identities

Recently, IBM and SecureKey also announced they are working together with the main goal of creating a “new digital identity and attribute sharing network” to make it easier for users to verify their data in a privacy-enhanced, secure and efficient way. Deloitte is doing a similar project using the Ethereum blockchain. It is an open source based on a smart identity platform available for users and companies that want to obtain, verify and identity credentials when communicating with one another. This way, customers can create and store identity info such as ID reference, driving license or passport, which can be confirmed by third parties to create verifiable credentials to be used for any digital communication. This Deloitte’s platform provides many opportunities for the automation of identity-related process including customer registration and Know Your Customer (KYC).


Is Digital Privacy A Right Or A Privilege?

The proponents of net neutrality rollbacks argue that tiered rate schedules will fund infrastructure innovation. The supporters of anti-privacy legislation argue that there’s little distinction between media companies (like Facebook) and ISPs, and both should have the right to collect and sell data that reflects the behavior of their customers. These are the business arguments. Are there other arguments we might want to consider? First, everyone should have the right to opt-out of the collection and distribution of personal data without losing privileged services or paying higher rates or extra fees. If a media company or an ISP wants to collect and sell my data it should only do so with my explicit permission – which I might well give (for a price). Why shouldn’t individuals share in these revenue streams? If I spend a ton of money online every year and everyone wants to follow me, stream to me and entice me, why shouldn’t I get a piece of the action?


MapR Announces Availability of Native Tableau Connector for Apache Drill

“Strong demand from our joint customers led to this tighter integration,” said Robert Green, director of product management at Tableau. “Tableau and Apache Drill share a common view on self-service data discovery and this development opens up new avenues for users of both technologies.” Apache Drill is a supported data source for Tableau bringing more robust integration compared to generic ODBC. The MapR Tableau Connector for Apache Drill delivers tighter metadata integration between Tableau and Apache Drill, and brings advanced analytics capabilities that leverage Tableau Sets to Apache Drill users. Additionally, Tableau users on Macs can now access Apache Drill.


No vendor lock-in fear with converged infrastructure

Cisco reached out to all the appropriate experts, who joined in on a call. The problem resided within a software-based Trend Micro firewall. The firewall was deactivated, which resolved the PCoIP problem. Before settling on HyperFlex, Safonov said he shopped around. He got three quotes from hyper-converged vendors and three quotes for more traditional architectures, including all-flash arrays. While his paramount concern was price, Safonov was still worried about managing servers, storage and networking gear from different vendors. "We would still have to troubleshoot across all the vendors," he said. Perry said the reduced concern about vendor lock-in may not last forever. It could change if server software and management tools head down an increasingly proprietary path.


Software developers – business enabler or hostage taker?

The skills attained during a computer science degree will be out of date by graduation, meaning organisations need to look beyond blunt qualification statements. Without undertaking specific skills tests, it is impossible to ascertain whether an individual can truly do the job. In addition, technical skills alone are not the only requirement. These individuals need to work as part of a team – are they team players? Do they buy in to the specific development processes of that organisation? Many developers are perfectionists which sounds great in theory, but is useless in practice – the software will never be good enough, never ready to be deployed. A pragmatic attitude is essential; plus an understanding of the importance of a standardised development process. Determining whether or not an individual has the right mix of skills and expertise to become a good software developer is a very significant challenge


Mobile Analyst: Factoring in Progressive Web Apps a Matter of 'When,' Not 'If'

More recently, Google announced deeper integration of PWA technology into its Android mobile OS. "Once a user adds a progressive Web app to their home screen, Chrome will integrate it into Android in a much deeper way than before," Google said. ...  "PWAs aim to disrupt the mobile app paradigm by bridging the Web experience with native app functionality, by using the latest browser technologies to meld the accessibility of the Web with the presence of the mobile app," Wong said in a recent blog post promoting that research. "Most of the leading desktop and mobile browsers (except for Safari and browsers on iOS at the time of writing) have embraced the browser advancements (service workers) brought forth by Mozilla, Google, Facebook and others to implement service workers that enable a Web site to behave like an app," Wong continued.


Why smart stores don't check out

Amazon's "Just Walk-Out Technology" has one job: to figure out what you're taking out of the store. As you remove items from the shelf, A.I. uses multiple inputs to figure out what you grabbed. Cameras watch you take it. Scales built into the shelves provide data to calculate the weight of what you took. Amazon's patent filing suggests that the system may also refer to past purchases to help identify current ones. In other words, intelligent software analyzes a video feed to determine that you removed something from the shelf that looked like a cupcake. It considers data from the shelf, which is also a scale, and calculates that you took something that weighs about as much as a cupcake. And it checks your purchase history — it knows you're a cupcake-eating maniac. After all that input, the software decides that you took a cupcake off the shelf and adds it to your list, which is kept up-to-date in real time as you shop.


Why we must strengthen cyber risk management now

When it comes to combating financial crime, financial institutions are increasingly in the frontline of defense. Regulators the world over require financial institutions to meet stringent Know Your Customer (KYC), anti-money laundering and sanctions rules and regulations. Complying with such obligations in multiple jurisdictions is demanding – and increasingly costly – but the costs and reputational impact of non-compliance are even higher. SWIFT has a broad finance crime compliance portfolio, developed with the SWIFT community. It’s a suite of managed and shared services that leverages our platform, technology and standards expertise to cut through the complexity and give the industry simpler, more cost-effective ways to meet the challenges of financial crime compliance.



Quote for the day:


"It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen." -- John Wooden