Daily Tech Digest - June 24, 2017

Compliance Does Not Always Cure Health Care Security Woes

According to a Level 3 report, “cyberthreats and the security landscape evolve rapidly, and industry standards cannot keep pace.” Compliance standards can only reflect best practices as of the time when the draft standards were approved. But because of the rapid evolution of the technology environment, best practices are a fast moving target. Today’s networks are liable to have far more endpoints than what was typical even a few years ago. Indeed, the contemporary focus of security thinking is shifting from primarily endpoint protection to an emphasis on trust of specific users and devices. The current compliance framework only imperfectly reflects this very recent development. In health care, we are now moving from mere mobile connectivity to the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices.


Will Technology Destroy Your Company or Make You a Fortune?

While corporate boards everywhere may be beginning to feel the cold wind blowing from the startup sector, it is possible for established companies to stay relevant—and even enjoy success—in the arenas of FinTech and the Internet of Things. It begins, of course, with the correct mindset: leadership must be willing to be bold and drive innovation with strategy. For example, Collins and Porras highlighted the importance of the Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG), such as that determined by JFK in his desire to put a man on the moon in less than a decade. A BHAG is vital in the face of such disruptive technological change. The key to corporate survival in the FinTech and IoT arenas lies in the open-minded approach of embracing innovation and preparing for changing technologies. However, the fact remains that large, mature companies face unique challenges when it comes to innovation.


How HR can lead digital transformation

There is no denying that digitalisation means change. Many people fear change, an attitude which could halt, or even thwart, progress. The root of this fear is the perceived loss of control – by moving to something new, people will feel less in control. Processes which took no time at all, or they were comfortable with, will now take a bit longer, with new ways of working to be learnt. This can be disheartening, particularly during any transition period. The best advice is to take small steps. Take on one project (for instance, look at your own HR services – could you digitalise part of your HCM by moving it into the cloud, removing a legacy system and potentially reducing cost?). Identify your roadmap, what success looks like and then take the plunge from the low diving board. The high diving board will still be there when you, and your organisation, are confident enough to climb.


Microsoft says 'no known ransomware' runs on Windows 10 S -- so we tried to hack it

Although Hickey used publicly known techniques that are widely understood by security experts, we nevertheless privately informed Microsoft's security team of the attack process prior to publication. For its part, Microsoft rejected the claims. "In early June, we stated that Windows 10 S was not vulnerable to any known ransomware, and based on the information we received from ZDNet that statement holds true," said a spokesperson. "We recognize that new attacks and malware emerge continually, which is why [we] are committed to monitoring the threat landscape and working with responsible researchers to ensure that Windows 10 continues to provide the most secure experience possible for our customers." This hack may not have been the prettiest or easiest to launch. You could argue that the hack took too many steps that wouldn't be replicated in the real world,


How Artificial Intelligence will impact professional writing

Now, Artificial Intelligence is making inroads in the field by providing smart summaries of documents. An AI algorithm developed by researchers at Salesforcegenerates snippets of text that describe the essence of long text. Though tools for summarizing texts have existed for a while, Salesforce’s solution surpasses others by using machine learning. The system uses a combination of supervised and reinforced learning to get help from human trainers and learn to summarize on its own. Other algorithms such as Algorithmia’s Summarizer provide developers with libraries that easily integrate text summary capabilities into their software. These tools can help writers skim through a lot of articles and find relevant topics to write about. It can also help editors to read through tons of emails, pitches and press releases they receive every day.


Machine Learning Enhances Processes Greatly

Artificial intelligence (AI) has arrived in a big way, with corporations leveraging it to unleash new value-addition avenues for their businesses. This is seen in the statistics too—according to a PwC survey, 30% of the industry believes that AI will be a key disruptor to business within the next five years. Machine learning, or AI, is backed by hard-core logical data, enabling leaders to take better decisions. It finds numerous applications from process optimization to growing the top line, and is set to be the rage in the industry.  Companies today are still experimenting with machine learning technologies at various stages, with some of them driving pilot projects and others integrating it into their mainstream processes. At any stage, machine learning should be seen as translating into value-add to the customer.


Google’s New AI Is Better at Creating AI Than the Company’s Engineers

AutoML has the potential to impact many of the other AI and machine learning-driven softwares that were discussed at the conference. It could lead to improvements in the speech recognition tech required for a voice-controlled Google Home, the facial recognition software powering the Suggested Sharing feature in Google Photos, and the image recognition technology utilized by Google Lens, which allows the user to point their Google Phone at an object in order to identify it. Truly, AI has the potential to affect far more than just our homes and phones. It’s already leading to dramatic advancements in healthcare, finance, agriculture, and so many other fields. If we can use an already remarkable technology to actually improve that same kind of technology, every advancement made by humans can lead to machine-powered advancements, which lead to better tools for humans, and so on.


Know the Flow! Microservices and Event Choreographies

Central to the idea of event collaboration is that all microservices will publish events when something business relevant happens inside of them. Other services may subscribe to that event and do something with it, e.g. store the associated information in a form optimal for their own purposes. At some later point in time, a subscribing microservice can use that information to carry out its own service without being dependent on calling other services. Therefore, with event collaboration a high degree of temporal decoupling in between services becomes a default. Furthermore, it becomes easy and natural to achieve the kind of decentral data management we look for in a microservices architecture. The concept is well understood in Domain Driven Design, a discipline currently accelerating in the slipstream of microservices and the "new normal" of interacting, distributed systems in general.


The Future of Work: Death of the Single Skill Set In The Age Of Automation

This death of the single skill set has been documented by David Deming, associate professor of education and economics at Harvard University. Dr. Deming argues that many jobs requiring only mathematical skills have been automated, but roles which combine mathematical and interpersonal skills (such as economists, health technicians, and management analysts) will be in demand. These findings are reinforced by a study conducted by Business Higher Education Forum and Gallup that examined the percent of employers who say both data science and analytical skills will be required of all managers by 2020. As noted in the chart below, this is predicted to be true for managers who span the functions of finance, marketing, operations, supply chain and Human Resources.


Divvying up must-do secure application development list for dev and ops

It's a very different security situation with microservices for a couple of reasons. One reason is that microservices tend to be used because organizations want to iterate and deploy applications very, very quickly. And when they're doing very, very quick deployments, then that can compound the security challenge because you can't afford to run lengthy security procedures against every single deployment. So that's one challenge to consider. Another challenge to consider is that if an individual microservice were to be exploited in some way, then that could provide a gateway into the entire application. So it's very important to track and manage all of the traffic coming in, to control which microservices can be directly addressed by external parties and to focus on them with your security efforts to ensure that they are very, very difficult to compromise and they have limited privileges should they be compromised.



Quote for the day:


"It does not suffice to hone your own intellect (that will join you in your grave), you must teach others how to hone theirs." -- EW Dijkstra