Daily Tech Digest - July 05, 2017

Seven tips for working with Office shapes

Shapes are drawing objects—lines, circles, rectangles, and so on—that you can use to enhance Office documents. You might add a simple line to distinguish your name and address in your resume. Or you might add a bit of pizazz to a marketing document. Shapes are available in Excel, Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint. You can enhance them using colors, patterns, borders, and other special effects. ... If you find yourself tweaking the same shape each time you enter it, stop. Instead, modify one shape and then set its properties to the shape's default properties. To do so, right-click the modified shape and choose Set As Default Shape from the shortcut menu. All subsequent shapes will exhibit your custom properties instead of the out-of-the box defaults.

Minerva protects endpoints with trickery and deception

The idea is that most normal threats will be blocked by traditional antivirus and Minerva will stop anything that attempts to get around that protection. In fact, Minerva officials stress that their toolset won’t protect anything without some type of antivirus first installed. It’s designed to work with any antivirus program, including Windows Defender and any of the offerings from companies like Symantec, McAfee, AVG, TrendMicro and others. The Minerva protection is installed as software, with the main interface and console running locally on a customer’s server or based within the cloud. Our test program was active on a physical server. Once installed, the program pushes agents out to every endpoint that needs to be protected. The agents are very lightweight, with each one taking up about 24 megabytes.

What are the impacts of facial recognition tech on society?

The perception was much different pre-September 11, 2001. This perceived type of futuristic technology was only something people saw in Hollywood and fell under the umbrella of Big Brother is watching us. At Super Bowl XXXV the federal government ran a test in which it scoured the 100,000 attendees and reported to have found 19 potential risks. This test was subsequently discovered by the media, leading to public conversation on privacy concerns. When questioned about the secret test, Tampa police spokesman Joe Durkin expressed, “It confirmed our suspicions that these types of criminals would be coming to the Super Bowl to try and prey on the public.” The dilemma, which in my opinion was the result of 9/11, becomes a conversation about improved security and the impact on our personal privacy.

Consumer IoT vs. Industrial IoT – What are the Differences?

Because IIoT systems can result in the generation of billions of datapoints, consideration also has to be afforded to the means of transmitting the information from the sensors to their final destination – usually an industrial control system such as a SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) platform. In order to not overwhelm these centralized systems with data, IIoT manufacturers are increasingly devising hardware that can carry out preliminary analytics directly at the device-level rather than on a program running in a cloud-based server (an emergent methodology known as edge computing or fog computing). Consumer IoT applications naturally tend to involve fewer devices and data points. Minimizing throughput to central servers is therefore less of a concern.

Big data is helping reinvent companies through digital transformation

Stratio brings together the latest, most disruptive technologies into a product that transforms businesses in-flight. Stratio DataCentric is designed to help Fortune 500 companies radically overhaul their information architecture in small, tactical steps and put data at the core of their business so that daily decisions and strategic planning can be taken based on powerful insight and well-grounded knowledge. With a lack of skills and inertia in organisational culture being major barriers to transformation, we provide both the technology and the skills that companies need. Our team of 300 staff accompany clients on their journey through transformation and we often establish joint-ventures. ... We have also developed a digital promotions platform that sends targeted deals to the customers of a global retailer in real-time.

8 Things Every Security Pro Should Know About GDPR

Companies that fail to comply with GDPR requirements can be fined between 2% and 4% of their annual global revenues or up to €20 million - which at current rates works out to just under $22.4 million USD - whichever is higher.  Enforcement of GDPR begins May 25, 2018. It replaces Data Protection Directive 95/46 EC, a 1995 statute governing the processing and protection of private data by companies within the EU. One of its biggest benefits for covered entities is that GDPR establishes a common data protection and privacy standard for all member nations within the EU. Organizations within the EU and elsewhere will still need to deal with data protection authorities in each of the 28 member countries. But they will no longer be subject to myriad different requirements from each member nation.

Alex Pinto on the intersection of threat hunting and automation

The environments where I've seen the most success with threat hunting utilized their incident response (IR) team for the task or built a threat hunting offshoot from their IR team. These team members were already very comfortable with handling incidents within the organization. They already understood the environment well, knew what to look for, and where they should be looking. IR teams may be able to spend some of their time proactively looking for things and formulating hypotheses of where there could be a blind spot or perhaps poorly configured tools, and then researching those potential problem areas. Documentation is key. By documenting everything, you build organizational knowledge and allow for consistency and measurement of success.

Operationalizing Data Governance: Actualizing Policies for Data Validation

Business are finally recognizing the value of data governance as an enterprise program, with the emergence of the Chief Data Officer (CDO) as a C-level role charged with ensuring that corporate data sets meet defined business data quality expectations. There are two aspects to this governance: defining policies, and operationalizing their compliance. One straightforward approach to data validation is to make it part and parcel of the application architecture: adjust the development methodologies to direct software designers to embed data validation as an integral component of their applications. Institutionalizing data validation within the organization’s application environment is predicated on standardizing an approach for defining data quality. Yet as is becoming more apparent, the definition of “data quality” is non-monolithic.

Less Is More For Canadian Quantum Computing

Researchers in Canada have found a way make a key building block for quantum computing from a custom photonics chip and off-the-shelf components intended for use in telecommunications equipment. They have built a chip that can create entangled pairs of multicolored photons. The result is that they can be manipulated as two "qudits," quantum computing digits, that can each hold 10 possible values. Where classical computers operate on values in sequence, quantum computers are able to express all possible values of a variable simultaneously, collapsing to the "right" answer at the end of the calculation. Not all computing problems benefit from this treatment, but it is particularly useful in the factorization of large numbers, necessary for cracking many forms of encryption.

How to use the mediator design pattern in C#

In the mediator design pattern, the objects don’t communicate with one another directly but through the mediator. When an object needs to communicate with another object or a set of objects, it transmits the message to the mediator. The mediator then transmits the message to each receiver object in a form that is understandable to it. By eliminating the direct communication between objects, the mediator design pattern promotes loose coupling. ... Note that the mediator design pattern differs from the facade design pattern. The mediator pattern facilitates how a set of objects interact, while the facade pattern simply provides a unified interface to a set of interfaces in the application. Thus the mediator pattern is a behavior pattern that deals with object behavior, the facade pattern is a structural pattern that deals with object composition.

Quote for the day:

Brooks' Law – "Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later."