Daily Tech Digest - April 21, 2017

A Vigilante Hacker May Have Built A Computer Worm To Protect The IoT

Symantec has found some possible proof. The company noticed that the computer worm has been leaving a message over infected devices since at least March, Grange said. That message has been digitally signed and fetched in a way that leaves little doubt it comes from Hajime's developer. The short message doesn't reveal anything about the Hajime developer's identity. But the vigilante hacker is aware the security community has been studying the Hajime worm. One clue: The mysterious developer refers to himself or herself as the "Hajime author" in the message the worm has been leaving behind. However, it was actually security researchers at Rapidity Networks that came up with the name Hajime, which is Japanese for the term "beginning."


Australia's bold plan for cybersecurity growth

The SCP is intended to "identify the challenges Australian organisations face when competing in local and international cyber security markets". "The SCP provides a roadmap to strengthen Australia's cyber security industry and pave the way for a vibrant and innovative ecosystem. It articulates the steps and actions required to help Australia become a global leader in cyber security solutions, with the aim of generating increased investment and jobs for the Australian economy," it says. The SCP was launched by Senator Arthur Sinodinos, Minister for Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science. "The aspiration, and it's set out here in this plan so clearly, is to be a global leader in this space," Sinodinos said.


Even small firms can tap into value through data wrangling

Chances are, small businesses already have a fairly large amount of data collected, particularly if they have been in business for at least a year. Even if the business is older and had not begun in the digital age, and does not have many electronic records, the paper records still contain data. Sales slips, time cards, order forms, all of these have data worth analyzing. Perhaps the records are a mix of paper and electronic records. Maybe more recent inventory records are recorded in a spreadsheet, while the older information is kept in a hand-written ledger. It would be worth the business owner’s while to digitize the paper records. This will require an initial output of resources, but the time spent scanning images or entering data into a database program will be paid back in the time saved by the staff not having to dig through paper files looking for information in addition to gaining the ability to query these records.


Microsoft launches 'IoT-as-a-service' offering for enterprises

The Microsoft spokesperson added that the new offering will help IoT product manufacturers "that value time to market with technical stack prescribed and managed for them". "It is designed to enable the rapid innovation, design, configuration, and integration of smart products with enterprise-grade systems and applications to reduce product manufacturers' go-to-market cycle and increase the speed at which they can innovate so they can stay ahead of their competition and deliver smart products that delight their customers," the spokesperson told ZDNet. IoT Central is vertically and horizontally agnostic, though the spokesperson said its early adopters happen to operate in the manufacturing and engineering industries such as ThyssenKrupp Elevator, Sandvik Coromant, and Rolls-Royce.


Artificial intelligence: fulfilling the failed promise of big data

According to Forrester’s Business Technographics survey of over 3,000 global technology and business decision makers from last year, 41percent of global firms are already investing in AI and another 20 percent are planning to invest in the next year. Most large enterprises’ first foray into AI is with chatbots for customer service, what we call “conversational service solutions.” These run the gamut from hard coded rules-based chatbots which aren’t artificially intelligent to very sophisticated engines using a combination of NLP, NLG, and deep learning. From a customer insights perspective, many companies are starting to uses some of the “sensory” components of AI such as image and video analytics and speech analytics to unlock insights from unstructured data.


How the Internet of Things Puts SCADA Systems at Risk

Since OT is technology that was built pre-Internet and is goal-oriented, its security is not always a top priority, Brown said. Others agreed. "I think it's still sort of a nascent field which is ironic because industrial systems, operational systems are from a past era," said Alex Eisen, a security researcher for ForeScout. Eisen later continued, "Think about trains, iron, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and now we find ourselves in this modern world, information age, where a lot of these hard skills and experience is sort of tucked away." The panel discussed risks to assuming OT and IT systems are not connected. Brown went on to describe multiple attacks that have happened because of unknown entanglement between the two systems. The panelists — which included representatives from SMUD, the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District, security companies, and others — discussed how OT systems can be protected:


How To Run Your Small Business With Free Open Source Software

Even if you want to stick with a closed source operating system (or, the case of macOS, partially closed source), your business can still take advantage of a vast amount of open source software. The most attractive benefit of doing so: It's generally available to download and run for nothing. While support usually isn't available for such free software, it's frequently offered at an additional cost by the author or a third party. It may be included in a low-cost commercially licensed version as well. Is it possible, then, to run a business entirely on software that can be downloaded for free? There certainly are many options that make it possible — and many more that aren't included in this guide.


Five emerging technologies for rapid digital transformation

To get a sense of what pressures IT leaders were under and how they were dealing with them, I recently sampled just over 50 of the top practitioners in the space with a focus on what I regarded were leading organizations in their industry -- mostly large enterprise CIOs, as well as a few CTOs, CDOs, and EVPs of IT who I knew were pushing the envelope -- to better understand the IT initiatives they are focusing on to becoming more agile. By picking cutting-edge leaders at top organizations, the intent was that the data will show what they're facing and how they're dealing with it this year, in a way that gives more typical organizations time to prepare for what they'll likely face next year and beyond. Unsurprisingly, the data clearly that top IT leaders are feeling much more pressure for their team to move quicker than they ever have in the past.


Surveys show high hopes, deep concerns about IoT

While many have high hopes for IoT, few are on their way to full deployment. The survey found 41 percent of respondents expect IoT to have a big impact on their industries within three years, affecting things like efficiency and differentiated products and services. But only 7 percent said they have a clear vision with implementation well under way. Most companies don't have everything they need to succeed in IoT, with many saying they'll need new technical skills, data integration and analytics capabilities, or even a rethinking of their business model. Thirty-one percent of the executives said their organizations face a "major skills gap" in industrial IoT. The annual developer survey co-sponsored by the open-source Eclipse IoT Working Group, IEEE IoT, Agile IoT and the IoT Council, also found growing adoption along with continuing concerns.


The Value of Exploratory Data Analysis

EDA is valuable to the data scientist to make certain that the results they produce are valid, correctly interpreted, and applicable to the desired business contexts. Outside of ensuring the delivery of technically sound results, EDA also benefits business stakeholders by confirming they are asking the right questions and not biasing the investigation with their assumptions, as well as by providing the context around the problem to make sure the potential value of the data scientist’s output can be maximized. As a bonus, EDA often leads to insights that the business stakeholder or data scientist wouldn’t even think to investigate but that can be hugely informative about the business. In this post, we will give a high level overview of what EDA typically entails and then describe three of the major ways EDA is critical to successfully model and interpret its results.



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"Our leadership style is defined by who we are and what we do, not by what we say." -- Gordon Tredgold