Daily Tech Digest - July 01, 2017

Windows 10 to Get Built-in Protection Against Most Ransomware Attacks

In the wake of recent devastating global ransomware outbreaks, Microsoft has finally realized that its Windows operating system is deadly vulnerable to ransomware and other emerging threats that specifically targets its platform. To tackle this serious issue, the tech giant has introduced a new anti-ransomware feature in its latest Windows 10 Insider Preview Build (16232) yesterday evening, along with several other security features.... The anti-ransomware feature, dubbed Controlled Folder Access, is part of Windows Defender that blocks unauthorized applications from making any modifications to your important files located in certain "protected" folders. Applications on a whitelist can only access Protected folders.


How IoT is empowering the elderly to become healthier and more productive

The central feature is the use of a personal dashboard for the patient, with a personalized treatment plan. The steps are then sent to smart devices to notify patients when they need to inject insulin, for instance. "It provides the healthcare team, not only the raw data, like the glucose reading or the insulin activity level," he said. "It provides everything that we collect from the patient. It actually provides them with all kinds analytic insights, diagnostics, and treatment plans." It's a "patient-involved system," he said, that can crunch numbers based on the AI engine to deliver specific recommendations. It will say "the intervention will be to take those medications at that time, at that dosage, and that they should follow up in one week, two weeks, etc.," he said. Still, the physician remains the ultimate gatekeeper, and can override the system if necessary.


Master data management driving better business decisions

While there is still a lot of excitement about new technologies such as cloud and graph database replacing so called “legacy” technologies, in reality the boring but strategic business processes of onboarding customers and suppliers, and transacting with your customers and suppliers remain fundamental business requirements that cannot be ignored. And these business fundamentals are greatly enhanced by the quality data that MDM brings to the equation. It seems as if the very large scale ($100 million and up) MDM programs or not as widespread as they were three to five years ago, which is causing some stress on the software vendors and the systems integrators. Many of the MDM programs we see are increasingly tactical rather than enterprise in nature.


Under pressure: Is it now make or break for net neutrality?

“We’ll see more pressure on regulators to adopt the US measures, as operators and content providers lobby for less regulation,” says Martin Morgan, VP marketing at Openet. “Operators have paid huge sums of money for spectrum and invested in rolling out 4G networks. With data becoming commoditised they’ll be looking for more innovative ways to deliver content services.” To do that they will of course have to keep a close eye on what’s going on in the US. Michael Hekimian, a legal director at law firm Ashfords says that the US will now become the “acid test” for new business models and in particular any alternate pricing models. If ISPs and content providers manage to improve services to consumers without raising prices and being anti-competitive then expect to see pressure on global regulators mount.


Active Cyber Defense Will Help Deter Future Threats

Retaliation is a response to a cyberattack that could manifest any number of ways. Responses include a mix use of sanctions, cyber responses like a direct “hackback” on the offender, and even a conventional kinetic attack in extreme cases. ... Denial is a form of active cyber defense in which an entity has such formidable cyber defenses that it removes the incentive of carrying out an attack, thus leaving little motive to carry out any further attacks. Denial processes include a cyber kill chain, where a company receives notification of an attack at multiple stages and is thus able to stop it. ... The third form of deterrence is entanglement, or norms created to regulate cyber behavior. Entanglement is a necessity for looking to prevent cyberattacks by state actors as it introduces accountability into their decision-making calculus.


Biometrics: Moving Far Beyond Fingerprints

Organizations have struggled for decades to find security tools that kept out bad guys while admitting authorized persons. This is both a physical security and cybersecurity issue. But, Dunkelberger adds, thanks to the impact of biometrics over the past few years, security is no longer quite as difficult. “Every day,” he says, “millions of people interact with a sliver of glass in their pocket that will tell them everything from the current age of the universe to when their shampoo will be delivered to their doorstep to how much money they have in their retirement account. Each of these interactions, thanks to biometrics, can be accomplished seamlessly and without friction. No longer are they required to create and remember a highly entropic code to use as a shared-secret; now they can simply look at that sliver of glass and blink.” Biometrics are changing the way we think about security.


The latest cyberattack is more than it seems

It transpired soon that the malware's developers didn't really want the money. There was a single email address specified for contact with the hackers, but it was soon blocked by the service provider, as usually happens in these cases. Besides, it turned out that the virus encrypted the victims' hard disks without the possibility of recovery. That's odd: An attacker who wanted money would have taken care he could receive it; or at least would have demonstrated his ability to decrypt the files. So cui bono; who benefits from this? Ukrainian officials were quick to accuse Russia of waging cyberwarfare against their country -- but that's almost white noise these days, coming from Kiev, and many observers were confused by the malware's seeming geographic indifference. It hit large Russian companies, too -- the state-oil giant Rosneft and the giant steelmaker Evraz, among others.


Advertisers are closer to knowing exactly where you are

Chris Clarke is chief creative officer at International DigitasLBi and he has strong words about what is an increasingly important part of his agency’s business. “The whole industry is talking data, and yet there remains a huge gulf between promise and proof,” he says. “Basic accuracy has been a huge issue with geolocation and elsewhere there's the issue of insight. The smartest operators are bringing multiple data sources together and looking for anomalies that lead to creative insight. Get this right and the outcome is relevant, useful and charming. Get it wrong and it's spooky, or just wrong.” Another interesting London company in the space is LoopMe, a mobile video platform that is driven by AI, employing algorithms that optimise ad placements in real time. It claims it can reach three billion consumers worldwide. LoopMe recently launched PurchaseLoop Foot Traffic, which uses AI to deliver video advertising at the moment customers are most likely to head to a store.


Machine learning is transforming lending

The front-end provides APIs for connectivity to the banks' own operational processes. This is where CapitaWorld's operational efficiency model also claims strengths. The fully digital form with inbuilt validated information creates efficiency through reduction in human-resource intensive processes. The queue time reduces from weeks to hours.  ... And finally the credit decision process itself. The model is based on machine learning. Prior decisions and rules as well as portfolio performance are captured by the platform. The vastly superior computing power today enables multiple hypotheses building and analysis. This in turn sets up new decision outcomes. What this also does is that pricing and risk decisions can be taken on much smaller sets of customers and even at an individual level. It is a step away from a standard Annualized Percentage Rate model. Imagine if your credit card interest rate was specific to you, based on your past behaviour.


Take Care of Yourself: CISO Self Care During Wartime

The challenge for Security leaders is that most organizations don’t really know what they want from their CISOs. During times of peace they want a diplomat — someone who can sit in the C-suite and talk about business objectives in non-technical terms. But when EternalBlue comes calling, they want a Commander-In-Chief/General/Drill Sergeant/Grunt to just make it all go away. The result is a CISO who has to bungee between the front lines and the corner office in the space of an hour. And make it look like you have complete control, because, you know, Leadership. ... Seriously, anyone in Security, and particularly the Security Leader, needs to have a significant support structure and coping mechanisms if they’re going to survive in the role which go beyond “take care of yourself”. Surround yourself with colleagues who can not only sympathize, but can help you find a way to emerge from a crisis with your sanity in tact.



Quote for the day:


"Don't raise your voice, improve your argument." -- Desmond Tutu