Daily Tech Digest - August 20, 2017

How to Prepare for the Next Cloud Outage

Preparing for a cloud service outage isn't much different than getting ready for any system failure, according to HyTrust's Krishnan. No matter the nature of the network, there will always be three pinch points, or "vectors of control," that managers need to master. The first is scope, which is the number of objects each admin or script is authorized to act upon at a particular time. Using the Microsoft outage as an example, a deployment task's scope would limit the number of containers it could operate on at one time. The second control vector is privilege, which controls what type of action an admin or script (task) can take on an object. An example of a privilege restriction would be a task that is allowed to launch a container but not to destroy one. 


A former Marine cyber warrior explains how hackers will transform the face of modern combat

Cyber warfare is already used for such things as disabling air defense systems, but these attacks will grow dramatically in range and capability in the coming years. Thanks to the rise of Internet of Things technologies, which are now being adapted into everything from dams and power grids to commercial trucks, US cyber warfare teams will have an abundance of targets at their disposal.  It’s not hard to imagine future scenarios in which US forces use cyber warfare tactics to sabotage power plants, telecommunications infrastructure and other critical facilities, either through coordinated remote attacks or on-site Special Forces teams with embedded cyber warriors. We’ve already seen this to some extent with Stuxnet, Flame and other malware which were designed to disrupt the nuclear capabilities of adversarial states.


Merging big data and AI is the next step

Businesses can now process massive volumes of data which was not possible before due to technical limitations. Previously, they had to buy powerful and expensive hardware and software. The widespread availability of data is the most important paradigm shift that has fostered a culture of innovation in the industry. The availability of massive datasets has corresponded with remarkable breakthroughs in machine learning, mainly due to the emergence of better, more sophisticated AI algorithms. ... Previously, chatbots had trouble identifying certain phrases or regional accents, dialects or nuances. In fact, most chatbots get stumped by the simplest of words and expressions, such as mistaking “Queue” for “Q” and so on. With the union of big data and AI however, we can see new breakthroughs in the way virtual agents can self-learn.


Artificial intelligence is coming to medicine — don’t be afraid

Artificial intelligence (AI) is bringing us to the precipice of an enormous societal shift. We are collectively worrying about what it will mean for people. As a doctor, I’m naturally drawn to thinking about AI’s impact on the practice of medicine. I’ve decided to welcome the coming revolution, believing that it offers a wonderful opportunity for increases in productivity that will transform health care to benefit everyone. Groundbreaking AI models have bested humans in complex reasoning games, like the recent victory of Google’s AlphaGo AI over the human Go champ. What does that mean for medicine? To date, most AI solutions have solved minor human issues — playing a game or helping order a box of detergent. The innovations need to matter more. The true breakthroughs and potential of AI lie in real advancements in human productivity.


How Do You Get Data into Your Company DNA?

How Do You Get Data into Your Company DNA? 5 Strategies for Spreading Data Management Best Practices Throughout Your Organization It would be nice if sound data management required nothing more than hiring great data scientists or having the right data tools. Unfortunately, it’s more complicated than that. Sure, having data experts on your team and a great data management toolset in your organization’s portfolio of IT resources forms the foundation for leveraging value from your data. But making the very most of your data requires help from everyone in your organization. That doesn’t mean every employee needs to get a stats Ph.D. It does, however, require you to implement some organization-wide policies and cultural values in order to brick smart data practices into your entire organization.


Gartner Predicts Information Security Spending To Reach $93 Billion In 2018

The Gartner report suggests that security services will continue to be the fastest growing segment – especially IT outsourcing, consulting and implementation services. However, hardware support services will see growth slowing, due to the adoption of virtual appliances, public cloud and software as a service (SaaS) editions of security solutions, which reduces the need for attached hardware support overall. ... “If you look at the continuous and almost unstoppable acceleration in breaches, I think these estimates are vastly underestimated. If you take a look at the aggregate losses due to data breaches in the last five years and project those forward, the growth rate would be at least an order of magnitude above what the spend estimates are to stop these breaches. ...”


How to make agile work for the C-suite

At the enterprise level, think of all of your corporate initiatives as a backlog just like how software developers think of future product features as a backlog. See your leadership team as employing an agile software-development framework that prioritizes the backlog based on importance, then tackles each task in sequence until they’re all completed. Reprioritize your enterprise backlog when new initiatives are added and supplement the traditional annual strategic-planning cycle with real-time, issue-based planning, so resources can be allocated more dynamically. Continuous planning can ensure that resources are being directed toward evolving priorities and away from initiatives that have grown less important.


How IT became business problem solvers at Level 3 Communications

It’s important that we as an IT organization understand that entire journey, since unlike any other organization at Level 3, we are involved from quote to cash. Each step in the journey may be unique, but the reality is that they all build upon each other. In IT, we see the steel thread and the levers we can use to improve the experience. There used to be a time in IT when we would say to our business partners: “Don’t tell us the how; tell us the what.” We are beyond that now; we don’t wait for the “what.” Our job is to bring the “what” to our business partners. For example, members of my team were looking at how the business was processing orders. They found a way to aggregate multiple orders, which made the process much simpler. They came up with that themselves, and brought it to the operations group, where the solution was well received.


Australia Aims to Regulate Bitcoin Exchanges

When we speak about casinos and betting in Australia, it is important to note that the country is now in the process of changing its gambling regulation regulation. The results of the amended regulation have already been felt, quite a few gambling companies have exited the market and more are expected to stop operating in the country within the coming weeks. Consequently, more severe regulations in the bitcoin space will assist Australian officials in keeping the industry compliant. Next to this, it is a common knowledge that the bitcoin is a main currency for various illegal activities: ransoms, drug deals, weapons and more. Once the exchanges get regulated, illegal transactions will not be as frequent, at least on the territory of Australia. However, the above use cases are not the main rationale behind regulating the bitcoin exchanges in Australia.


Q&A on the Book Stupidity Paradox

Many organisations encourage people to think of themselves as inspirational leaders. But this often alienates their followers and means they ignore the nuts and bolts of getting a task done. The second is an attachment to branding. We witnessed military organisations which were more keen on running rebranding exercises than running military exercises. The third driver of functional stupidity is mindless imitation. Often large organisations copy others for no better reason than they want to up with the latest fashion. This leads firms to implement new initiatives which are inappropriate for them. The fourth is pointless policies and procedures which are thoughtlessly followed. Many professionals spend more time ticking off boxes than actually doing their job.



Quote for the day:


"If you want people to to think, give them intent, not instruction." -- David Marque