Daily Tech Digest - November 12, 2016

Cognitive computing systems a natural fit for IoT devices

Analyst firm Gartner forecast 6.4 billion connected devices will be used worldwide in 2016, jumping to 20.8 billion by 2020. But many of those devices will be relatively dumb, including things like fitness trackers, connected speakers and cameras. The real value from internet of things (IoT) devices could come from backing up a data connection with cognitive computing systems. This turns a connected device from something that strictly generates data into something much more interactive. Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals is using a similar approach to help improve the patient experience. The health system recently unveiled a speaker and microphone system that can be embedded in patient rooms. Patients can speak questions about hospital services or commands that control the room's heating and cooling, lighting and entertainment systems.

Active Cyber Defence - tackling cyber attacks on the UK

There’s a common complaint from industry to governments about cyber security. It’s generally that governments tell them they’re not doing enough and must do more, often without really understanding the real-world impacts or commercial implications of their demands. ... We’ll be eating our own dog food to prove the efficacy (or otherwise) of the measures we’re asking for, and to prove they scale sensibly before asking anyone else to implement anything. The ACD programme is intended to tackle, in a relatively automated way, a significant proportion of the cyber attacks that hit the UK. Automation means the measures scale much better. It's not a panacea but should help us mitigate the impact of a significant proportion of the attacks we see. It won't affect the really targeted attacks (at least initially) but we're hoping that we can reduce the noise enough to make the defenders' jobs easier when tackling those very targeted attacks.

Global industry groups voice opposition to China cyber security law

In their letter, the groups warned that Beijing’s efforts to control more of China’s Internet and technology would “effectively erect trade barriers along national boundaries” while failing to achieve its security objectives. The cyber security law would also burden industry and undermine “the foundation of China’s relations with its commercial partners,” the groups wrote in a letter addressed to the Chinese Communist Party Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs. The letter’s signatories include the Information Technology Industry Council, the Internet Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Australian Industry Group and BusinessEurope, among others. The law’s adoption comes amid a broad crackdown by President Xi Jinping on civil society, including rights lawyers and the media, which critics say is meant to quash dissent.

How Facebook Is Transforming Disaster Response

This new incarnation of Safety Check begins with an algorithm that monitors an emergency newswire—a third-party program that aggregates information directly from police departments, weather services, and the like. Then another Safety Check algorithm begins looking for people in the area who are discussing the event on Facebook. If enough people are talking about the event, the system automatically sends those people messages inviting them to check in as safe—and asks them if they want to check the safety of other people as well. In other words, the system is driven by Facebook algorithms first, and then it’s driven by the choices and behavior—and white-knuckle worries—of people on the ground.

Bringing the Power of Platforms to Health Care

Despite healthcare’s remarkable track record holding out against the tides of change, there are finally holes in the dam. The healthcare internet is emerging node-by-node, provider-by-provider, and patient-by-patient. So, there’s really no longer a question of whether healthcare will join the rest of the economy and concede to the inevitable. The real question is what it will look and feel like for patients and providers once care is connected and the “network effect” begin to take hold. It turns out we have a pretty good sense of what’s to come because we know what AirBnB has done to hotels (and homes), Waze to GPS systems and fold-up maps, and Uber to taxis. To us, these disrupters illustrate well the three dimensions of the network effect that is poised to transform healthcare: administrative automation, networked knowledge, and resource orchestration.

Travis CI Tutorial: Java Projects

This post describes how to achieve all the desired features using a whole new stack that might not be familiar to enterprise Java developers. GitHub was a perfect match. Then I went on to search for a Jenkins cloud provider to run my builds… to no avail. This wasn’t such a surprise, as I already searched for that last year for a course on Continuous Integration without any success. I definitely could have installed my own instance on any IaaS platform, but it always pays to be idiomatic. There are plenty of Java projects hosted on GitHub. They mostly use Travis CI, so I went down this road.

How to automate the enterprise: Your guide to getting started

In order for businesses to identify which roles are automatable, they will likely need to first document their processes in detail. "If you analyse all of the activities that everyone is doing in the organisation you can get a sense for which of those might be more automatable than others," said Chui. Neil Kinson, chief of staff at enterprise process automation specialist Redwood Software, recommends creating what he calls a 'robotization centre of excellence' that collates the processes taking place across the business. "It really is teaching people how to both document their process and turn that documentation into what effectively becomes a robot design," he said, using the term 'robot' to refer to the software carrying out the automation.

Why CIOs must step up to lead digital transformation efforts

"CIOs are probably the most equipped to look at the whole iceberg—they need to be front-and-center for the digital transformation," Kark said. "If they're not, it becomes an issue for business leaders, because they are only looking at the front-end stuff, not the whole picture." Though many CEOs recognize this, CIOs are often relegated to just managing technology as the extent of their role, Kark said. "Some of it is that CIOs are not raising their hands to say, 'We are ready to do this,'" Kark said. "Maybe they don't have the credibility or influence, or haven't proactively said they can help." "If CIOs don't step up, other business leaders will, who are only looking at the tip of the iceberg and aren't setting up for success," Kark said. "CIOs better understand the enormity of [digital transformation] efforts, and can articulate that to their business peers."

6 Ways To Add Cybersecurity Protections To Outsourcing Deals

The increasingly complex and geographically dispersed IT environment also complicates matters. When company data lived within one or more central data centers, it was much easier for companies or their suppliers to secure the perimeter with, for example, firewalls, physical security and controlled logical access. Today, data is scattered among data centers, clouds, and mobile devices, for a start. “The points of access and potential points of security failure multiply with this ever expanding ecosystem,” says Eisner. “In addition, many of these systems are provided or managed by third party suppliers.” For those reasons, CIOs must take a risk management approach to selecting, contracting with, and monitoring their company’s IT service providers.

Are regulations the answer to better Internet of Things security?

Regulations, whether or not anyone likes it, can be a very effective hammer for greater good. From improved health monitoring to safer highways to smart homes, IoT has already begun to touch the lives of millions of Americans and will become truly transformational in the years to come. Gartner forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide this year, up 30 percent from 2015, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. Unfortunately, all those new connected devices also represent the next frontier for hackers. Gartner predicts that more than 25 percent of identified attacks in enterprises will involve IoT devices by the end of the decade. Yet too little attention has been paid thus far in protecting them. 

Quote for the day:

"Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy." -- Norman Schwarzkopf

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