Daily Tech Digest - December 30, 2017

The strict regulatory fashion of the finance industry makes it an ideal sector to invest in AI, because the technology can automate tasks that are based on specific systems, set rules and procedures. We are likely to see an increasing presence of artificial intelligence in the financial services sector in the next few years. Tasks such as providing soliciting or financial advice could easily be provided through a bot interface, using existing artificial intelligence and automation technologies. Some companies are already using more advanced AI applications, such as IBM’s Watson. However, most of these companies are using this technology in an experimental fashion, as opposed to completely overhauling their existing procedures in favour of artificial intelligence. Despite its potential, artificial intelligence is still in its infancy. Until it is fully developed, there will still be arguments about the accuracy and ability of AI over a well-trained human representative.

An AI system might be just as good at translating the document, but a human can probably also perform related tasks such as understanding Chinese speech, answering questions about Chinese culture and recommending a good Chinese restaurant. “Very different AI systems would be needed for each of these tasks,” the report said. “Machine performance may degrade dramatically if the original task is modified even slightly.” Alan Mackworth, a professor at the University of British Columbia who holds the Canada research chair in artificial intelligence, said he thinks it will be at least a decade or two before researchers make any real progress in artificial general intelligence. Some experts don’t think general AI is possible at all, but Mackworth cautioned against dismissing anything as impossible with a long enough time horizon. “It’s very risky to say AI won’t be able to do this, that and the other thing,” he said. “Almost every time that prediction has been made, it’s eventually been proven false.”

RegTech Companies in the US Driving Down Compliance Costs to Enable Innovation

Regulatory and compliance issues are some of the most important, complex and resource-consuming problems to solve for any organization, especially for startups with limited resources. Over decades of development, regulatory requirements and documentation have grown into a matter of special expertise and skills to decode. Globally, ~$80 billion is spent on governance, risk and compliance, and the market is only expected to grow, reaching $120 billion in the next five years. The costly and complex procedures imposed on every financial institution around the world resulted in the growth and development of solutions addressing the issue. RegTech companies nowadays are offering advanced, AI-powered solutions and various hubs are represented by a set of own market leaders. Further, we will review some of the RegTech solutions providers unleashing innovative capacity for financial institutions in the United States.

3 Levers to boosting productivity of the next-gen data scientist
This is probably the most non-value-add activity a Data Scientists, and something they are not trained in the first place. The foundation of clean connected data is critical for a successful outcome. Data cleansing, connecting keys across data sources, and managing the data set is a significant amount of work that requires special skills. For example, In the customer analytics world the ability to draw signals from customer data from one channel and predict their behavior in another channel is the holy grail. People want to know what is the value of a positive review on their brand page. If the social marketer could quantify that a customer who leaves a positive review is twice as likely to become a high value customer, he will be able to justify the value of social marketing. The data scientist can do this, but they need a single-view-of-the-customer to start their work. Today the data scientist is spending 70 to 80% of their efforts getting the data and not doing their real job. 

The Difference Between Clarity and Focus, and Why You Need Both

Focus is knowing which actions to take every single day to get there. When you get into your car, you have a starting place and a destination. The map or GPS gets you from where you are to where you want to be. Clarity is where you want to be. Focus is doing what you need to do to get the car to its destination. Every choice you make behind the wheel will either get you closer to your destination, or further away. To further the analogy, the GPS or map is your mentor or guide who will shorten the learning curve, so you're not driving around in circles. And the fuel is your why. Your why is the energy behind every action you take. My why was to get my mother out of debt. It's what kept me motivated every day I was trying to grow my business, and championed me through the inevitable setbacks.

What Is The Hidden RoI Of Mentoring? What You Need To Know

The limits you place upon yourself are far greater than the limits that others could ever place on you. A mentor can help you remove the limits you place upon yourself, and help you use more of the potential that is within you. This ROI seems hidden, because it is not within what you do or even what you think; but is often within your subconscious beliefs… the part of you that is framing the opportunities you will be able to see or not see. The benefits of seeing more opportunities and taking action on them can be limitless. ... You can only achieve to the level of the potential you see within you. So, when a mentor helps you see more of your potential, it is a way of opening a door for you to see more ways of you using that potential too. A mentor often helps you see more of what you already know and do, and helps you see that not using the potential inside you is also limiting you from using the potential that is within your team.

Nissan Canada Finance Issues Data Breach Alert

Nissan Canada Finance, which provides financing for vehicle buyers and leasers, is warning 1.13 million current and former customers that their personal information may have been stolen. NCF, headquartered in Ontario, says in a security alert that it is "a victim of a data breach that may have involved unauthorized person(s) gaining access to the personal information of some customers that have financed their vehicles through Nissan Canada Finance and Infiniti Financial Services Canada." NCF is a subsidiary of carmaker Nissan Canada, which builds 60 models of vehcicles under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brand names. "At this time, we have no indication that Nissan or Infiniti customers in Canada who did not obtain financing through NCF are affected," it says in the notification, issued Dec. 21. The company says it is informing customers by letter and where possible also email.

Business Process Mining Promises Big Data Payoff

“Honestly, what we’re doing is removing the need to pay a Deloitte or McKinsey to come in and do all this discovery and find the issue,” says Celonis Chief Marketing Officer Sam Werner. “We can replace the expensive consultants that get paid today to go do this work, which by the way can be very disruptive for your organization.” Process mining starts with data discovery. Its product, called Proactive Insights (or PI), Celonis scans mainstream ERP systems from the likes of SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft, identifies the business processes, and then constructs a visual representation of how the process works. This gives architects a low-level view of how many different places each individual purchase order waits for approval, for example. If you’ve ever seen a BPM tool, you know that visualizations of business processes can get quite messy. The so-called “process spaghetti” demonstrates that, while there typically is a standard way to do things, that variations inevitably creep into the process.

IoT is an invitation to ransomware

With IoT ransomware, the attacker’s goal is to prevent the victim from controlling a device and the function it provides. Imagine that it’s winter and you’re locked out of your home thermostat when it’s 10 degrees Fahrenheit outside. The homeowners’ instinct will be to figure out how to pay the ransomware and get back control before they freeze. Now imagine that this same scenario plays out on a larger scale, like with the HVAC system of a corporate data center. What damage could an air conditioning shutdown do to the data center’s servers? Similarly, widespread lockouts of IoT-based medical devices, such as pacemakers or drug infusion pumps, could have dire consequences. All of these IoT devices have an embedded data gathering application, which communicates with other cloud-based applications and storage facilities. A cybercriminal can corrupt or encrypt data being sent to the cloud application in the same way that a computer system can be subverted to lock the device.

The countdown begins: Top fintech trends that India can expect in 2018

It has cemented the significance of the fintech sector in India. From increased momentum behind digital payments to product innovation in digital loan disbursement platforms, the entire sector is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the nation functions the way it does and achieves the two-digit growth rate that it has persistently been longing for. 2018 promises to be a great year for FinTech industry with increasing digitization and data availability. Here's what else we can expect from the fintech sector in the year to come and the top trends that will dominate this rapidly evolving space The fast-paced digitization has unlocked fresher avenues for fintech players, especially the ones associated with SME-based lending. With the increased digital adoption by business owing to demonetization and the rollout of GST, both of which have exponentially increased the business-centric data, 2018 will be the year of action for SME lending-based fintech players. 

Quote for the day:

"Formal education will make you a living. Self education will make you a fortune." -- Jim Rohn

Daily Tech Digest - December 29, 2017

windows hello fingerprint
Windows Hello is designed for both enterprises and consumers, and is gaining traction on both fronts. During Microsoft’s Ignite 2017 conferencein September, the company announced more than 37 million people were already using Windows Hello and more than 200 companies had deployed Windows Hello for Business. At the time, the largest enterprise deployment outside of Microsoft’s IT team comprised more than 25,000 users, according to the company. “Biometric fingerprint scanning is prevalent in the enterprise, but the issue is that it’s not readily used,” Moorhead said. Every major vendor has systems using Windows Hello, according to Moorhead, but market penetration is much lower than needed to start the process of replacing passwords for all Windows 10 users.

IoT: The catalyst for invisible payments

Long before the advent of today’s smart wrist wearables, we saw Hollywood’s James Bond using his watch to receive messages from headquarters, and long before any company began prototyping connected cars, we saw him in high-speed car chases by navigating through the streets in his smart car augmented with sensors. Previously the domain of fantasy, such devices are now becoming a reality as a new class of tools accessible to the government, consumers and businesses alike. The Digital Age—which makes the Industrial Revolution look tame by comparison—is upon us. The Internet of Things (IoT) has rapidly become one of the most familiar expressions across the technology domain, with the potential to fundamentally shift the way we interact with our surroundings. Everyday objects are getting smarter and connected to the internet, thereby enabling the seamless transfer of information streams between devices, networks, organisations, industries and end users.

“Private blockchain” is just a confusing name for a shared database

The key to Bitcoin’s security (and success) is its decentralization which comes from its innovative use of proof-of-work mining. However, if you have a blockchain where only a few companies are allowed to participate, proof-of-work doesn’t make sense any more. You’re left with a system where a set of identified (rather than pseudonymous) parties maintain a shared ledger, keeping tabs on each other so that no single party controls the database. What is it about a blockchain that makes this any better than using a regular replicated database? Supporters argue that the blockchain’s crypto, including signatures and hash pointers, is what distinguishes a private blockchain from a vanilla shared database. The crypto makes the system harder to tamper with and easier to audit. But these aspects of the blockchain weren’t Bitcoin’s innovation!

5 Trends to Watch in Banking Technology in 2018

APIs, artificial intelligence, easier mobile banking, new forms of security authentication and the Internet of Things will help banks modernize their technology.Of course, mobile banking is nothing new, but it is now a “table stakes” experience, especially for younger bank customers, meaning it is a bare minimum all banks must now meet. If a bank does not have a solid mobile app, they are an also-ran, industry experts and analysts say. That way of thinking will soon apply to lots of new and emerging technologies, as banks strive to keep pace with the likes of Apple, which earlier this month introduced Apple Pay Cash, allowing customers to send and receive money via Apple Pay. “The big decision-makers are really leaning on the idea of, ‘Mobile technology is taking over and there is a digital-first movement that is taking hold in the marketplace,’” says Chris George, senior vice president of client strategy at NYMBUS, a core banking modernization company.

Building the Cyberresilient Health Care Organization

The cyberrisks to the health care industry include much more than ransomware and threaten more than hospitals. Imagine a WannaCry type of attack that targets implanted medical devices, for example. The digitization of health care, which is bringing more digital products and services into more widespread use, puts health care organizations in the cybercriminal’s cross hairs. Moreover, because of the data that health care companies collect, the life-and-death nature of their services, and the increasing interconnectivity of tools and devices, cybersecurity is no longer only an IT issue. ... The potential for damage goes beyond financial malfeasance: as supply chains, manufacturing processes, and distribution channels become increasingly digitized, often with outdated devices that have limited vendor support or security management, they present a sabotage risk with potentially disastrous patient health and safety, financial, and reputational consequences.

Year In AI: Higher Education For Machines

2017 was the year “rules-based” became a dirty word in AI. Rules-based algorithms do exactly what one may expect: they follow rules, nothing more, nothing less. They are based on past observation. While they’re good at going through lots of data really fast, they cannot exercise any sort of discretion. If a fraudster figured out the rules and started to work around them, rules-based AI couldn’t catch him, because to that machine, the bad guy would appear to be playing by the rules. Only after a human identified the pattern and fed the machine a new set of rules would it be able to catch the fraudster. A platform like, say, Fraugster, analyzes and learns from transactions in real time, collecting over 2,000 data points, such as name, email address and billing and shipping address. All of this data is then sent to be analyzed by the company’s artificial intelligence engine, which then reviews each transaction’s data individually for signs of fraud.

Blockchain and Voting

A public ledger of plain votes is a terrible idea, since that makes vote selling trivial. A public ledger of vote tracking numbers of sorts is better for privacy, though it doesn’t really provide actual verifiability that the contents of the ballot weren’t tampered with. Clearly, we need something more, and that something simply isn’t provided by a distributed ledger. Then there’s the need to check voter eligibility, a critical piece of global verifiability. No matter what technology we use, we need a clear list of eligible voters, and each voter should get to vote only once. Ultimately, the list of eligible voters is set in a centralized way: it’s produced by the State. There’s nothing distributed about voter eligibility. Even when there is federation / delegation to individual counties, like in the US, there is a centralized effort to cross-check that a voter isn’t registered in multiple counties.

Automating machine learning puts analytical models on autopilot

The trend makes sense, Schubmehl said, because the benefits of machine learning are so obvious, yet the highly educated data scientists needed to develop machine learning applications are so scarce. Every enterprise stands to benefit from becoming more data-driven, yet developing capabilities internally is expensive and time-consuming. "There is a shortage of data scientists, so that makes it more challenging," he said. "This idea of low-code or no-code AI is really a great capability. Automated machine learning helping to drive the enterprise is really where our research is pointing to." Still, that doesn't mean that automating machine learning automatically delivers a return on investment. Schubmehl described it as a hand-and-glove situation. In this analogy, data is the hand and software is the glove. If the data isn't there, the software can't accomplish much.

Bitcoin's Academic Pedigree

How can you build a ledger for use in an environment like the Internet where participants may not trust each other? Let's start with the easy part: the choice of data structure. There are a few desirable properties. The ledger should be immutable or, more precisely, append only: you should be able to add new transactions but not remove, modify, or reorder existing ones. There should also be a way to obtain a succinct cryptographic digest of the state of the ledger at any time. A digest is a short string that makes it possible to avoid storing the entire ledger, knowing that if the ledger were tampered with in any way, the resulting digest would change, and thus the tampering would be detected. The reason for these properties is that unlike a regular data structure that's stored on a single machine, the ledger is a global data structure collectively maintained by a mutually untrusting set of participants.

Getting Started with Microservices in SpringBoot

If you are not already using Microservices, you are safely out of the early adopter phase of the adoption curve, and it is probably time to get started. In this article, we will demonstrate the essential components for creating RESTful microservices, using Consul service registry, Spring Boot for all the scaffolding, dependency injection, and dependencies, Maven for the build, and both Spring REST and Jersey/JaxRS Java RESTful API. Over the last two decades, enterprise has become very agile in our SDLC process, but our applications tend to still be rather monolith, with huge jars supporting all of the varied APIs and versions in play. But nowadays there is a push towards more Lean, DevOps-ey processes, and functionality is becoming “serverless”. Refactoring to Microservices can decouple code and resources, make builds smaller, releases safer, and APIs more stable.

Quote for the day:

"Leaders always choose the harder right rather than the easier wrong." -- Orrin Woodward

Daily Tech Digest - December 28, 2017

Going boldly where no data scientist has been before

Humanity's ability to add value to information is being overtaken by machines, says GeoSpock CEO Richard Baker
“Millennials think differently, and that’s had a retail and marketing impact. Millennials have 52 per cent of the US retail market and it’s a similar story in Europe. They’re about sharing, they don’t have the same ideas about owning capital, about owning homes. I thought: ‘There’s a complete demographic shift coming’.” With global blockchain-based assets now valued at more than $154billion, that assessment sounds about right, and TAB’s analytics service for the crowd finance industry has become the industry’s benchmark. Advantage Mackay. “I am responsible for the strategic leadership of the business, supporting and steering the executive team to reach their potential and achieve both commercial and shareholder returns in an effective and timely manner,” says Richard, while also wondering why Cambridge doesn’t have any blockchain technology of its own. Answers on a postcard please.

PowerShell Functions for Reusability and Restartability in Azure

There are several components, such as resource groups and storage, that are needed with almost anything you do on the Azure platform. In this article, I’ll demonstrate two PowerShell code samples that illustrate these principals. First though, I’ll define our principals. Reuse is the ability to create a piece of code that you can use over and over. PowerShell provides a great mechanism through its native ability to create functions. You can create a core library of functions which you can call from all your scripts. The second principal comes in the ability to easily restart your scripts. All kinds of things can cause your PowerShell scripts to crash: a bug in your code, a bad parameter, or perhaps something outside the code such as a server that goes down unexpectedly, or even a simple loss of internet connectivity.

Smart CityBeacons may be coming to a city centre near you

City Beacon Kiosk
The CityBeacon is expected to make a splash when kiosks are deployed: "Working on CityBeacon deployment has been an amazing project. The 4 metre high kiosks are a sight to behold and really grab the public’s attention when they are walking down the street. People naturally gravitate towards the kiosks and are pleasantly surprised when they are able to access valuable public services," continued Ubert. "Many cities around the world want to make the transition into a smart city. They want to offer citizens easy-to-use solutions that can be managed via one platform and this is where CityBeacon excels. The next step is to scale so that the platform is deployed around the world. We are in discussions with major cities in Belgium, Spain, France, Germany, UK, Nordics and even outside Europe," he added.

Fascinating Ways Machine Learning and Geolocation Tagging Are Intersecting

machine learning big data
Data is the fuel that powers efforts in AI. As databases grow, the way we use the information is changing. For example, in the early days of computers, an IP address could tell servers where the connection request was coming from. This location data would be enough to tell companies where their users were located. But the reliability of IP addresses have changed – especially with the advent of VPN and other IP masking tools. Advanced IP geolocation tools like IP2Location, now allow for servers to make highly educated guesses as to the location of the user. This reliable location data adds a new dimension to modern database entries. For example, a machine learning platform can identify patterns based on the location of the originating request. I’ve worked with data-driven marketers that use these kinds of insights to decide on where a billboard should be placed.

Blockchain Pumping New Life Into Old-School Companies Like IBM

The blockchain enables companies doing business with each other to record transactions securely. Its strength lies in its trustworthiness: It is difficult to reverse or change what’s been recorded. The blockchain can also hold many more documents and data than traditional database storage, allowing for more nuanced insights and analysis. It can also hold embedded contracts, such as a lease for a car, whose virtual key could be transferred to a bank in the event of a default. “Blockchain is one of the bright sectors in technology,” said Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates Inc. “Since blockchain infrastructure is fairly beefy, there will be a large pool of revenue associated with sales of equipment, software and related services for blockchain installations.” In addition to hiring third parties for cloud use, companies will rely more on their own databases for storage, said Amit Zavery, senior vice president of Oracle Cloud Platform.

We Were Kings or When Things Went to Zero

All is not lost for banks and insurers, but it will be very hard for them to compete against savvy tech giants on their technological home turf. The financial industry has to think fast to find ways to compete before their business oxygen runs out. One solution that banks and insurers should pursue aggressively is to embrace the fintech and insurtech industries for their innovative business spirit and fast, direct execution approach to new ideas. That means financial institutions should buy what they can or partner with startups to make up for all the shortcomings that legacy brings. Size and regulation won’t be enough to protect incumbent financial institutions against new competitors, as we have seen in many other industries. Another idea might be for financial institutions to place advertisements on their websites or apps to compensate for loss of profit margins. I don’t think this is the only solution, but financial institutions must innovate beyond their core areas of expertise and standard industry practices.

Board's role in risk management evolving

The time has come to rethink the roles of boards and risk committees in the enterprise risk management process.
In spite of the overflow of regulatory expectations, study authors found that the key traditional role of boards—representing shareholders—has not been forgotten. “Our risk committee charter reviews showed that committees (under the remit of the overall board) appear to be prioritizing this management accountability aspect of oversight,” the report states. Still lacking, in charters at least, is “issue radar”—attention to emerging risks. While the percentage of committee charters mentioning cyberrisk grew over 2014, only about half the charters mention this specifically (47% versus 25% in 2014). Two other issues receiving even less mention: third-party risk (13%)—a major concern of regulators and a key issue as partnerships with fintech firms beckon—and the risk of unethical employee conduct (7%). “Both issues have led to billions in fines for many large banks across the world,” the report states.

A good IT orchestration system saves time for users and admins

A well-designed IT orchestration system takes away the frustration and manual intervention to create VMs or other IT resources, as well as the long waits and paperwork for app owners who need them from IT. The whole process is subject to workflows, which implement business logic and decisions into practices. They can also include approvals, resource allocation limits and other customizations. ... Some well-designed orchestration portals include selections for the workflow, such as Mirror the network of the following server or I know which virtual LANS I need. Including options instead of setting a rigid path helps people who are not technically inclined easily build servers. IT orchestration improves IT lifecycle management, cost management and sprawl prevention. As mentioned previously, automation feeds orchestration, and the benefits of automation are clear.

Rapid Growth in Security Market Raises Question: How to Pick a Startup

The question for enterprises, then, is how to choose a security startup that not only has good technology, but that will still be around to support it in a few years. One data point is to look at emerging technologies that seem to be garnering the most traction among venture capitalists, who will help their financial future until they are ready to fly solo. One factor to look for is the startup's ability to cut down on the noise in security operations, experts say. "The market is shifting to simplification. We now have more alerts than people want to deal with, so they are seeking ways to simplify the security operations center [SOC]," Casado says. Security for industrial IoT and physical security for drones, smart cameras, and smart locks are also areas to watch, he states.  Consolidation of security technology in the data center is another shift occurring in the security industry, says Mathew.

Mega increase in cloud adoption underway

business cloud services flowchart
The software and network of a user's device is the frontend. The frontend serves as an interface to exchange data and requests with the backend. The backend, which is what you will typically hear referenced as "The cloud," is actually the servers and data center storage technologies of a hosting service.This architecture may sound boring and functional, but, importantly, it allows you to access your backend through the internet, from various locations simultaneously as desired. A centralized cloud server (a virtual machine rather than a physical one) is the intersection of the front and back ends. This technology, the centerpiece of the cloud Hosting service, allows you to respond to user requests and monitor traffic seamlessly. In terms of return on investment, the IT conference Interop ITX’s 2017 State of the cloud report found that lower cost was listed alongside speed, reach, access, and scalability as a top cloud benefit.

Quote for the day:

"To acquire knowledge one must study, but to acquire wisdom one must observe." -- Marilyn vos Savant

Daily Tech Digest - December 27, 2017

Cloudops automation is the only answer to cloud complexity

Cloudops automation is the only answer to cloud complexity
The fact is that most enterprise deal with cloud operations—aka cloudops—using the native tools of their cloud providers. Although that is scalable when you’re just using one public cloud for everything, the reality is that you have to manage traditional systems built within the last 20 years, multiple public clouds, perhaps a private cloud, IoT devices, and data that exists everywhere (with no single source of truth). In other words, a huge mess.  Automation does not save you from having this mess, but it helps a great deal.  First, you need to consider the concept. When you automate cloudops, you’re really looking to remove the complexity by placing an abstraction layers between the complex array of systems,and you the person that needs to operate the technology. ... The trick is focusing on the broader management technology, and the automation that it providers, versus the cloud-native tools that won’t help you beyond a single public cloud.

Unfortunately, while attempting to scale the lofty heights of open data and public goods, the Australian government has again failed to consider privacy implications — something that might be a concern for the 10 percent of Australians that were randomly selected to have their personal data "anonymised" and publicly released. This is no surprise; anonymising data is really, stupendously difficult. Data re-identification issues range from mildly embarrassing to serious and potentially life altering — a quick look at the Australian Medicare MBS data shows how unique some data can be. Ask yourself, what are the consequences of re-identifying the one girl in Queensland aged 5 to 15 who received "Pregnancy Support Counselling Services" — Medicare item number 4001 — in July 2016? What is embarrassing for some could be catastrophic for others.

There is one key definition of cyberwarfare, which is a digital attack that is so serious it can be seen as the equivalent of a physical attack. To reach this threshold, an attack on computer systems would have to lead to significant destruction or disruption, even loss of life. This is a significant threshold because under international law states are permitted to use force to defend themselves against an armed attack. It follows then that, if a country were hit by a cyberattack of significant scale, they would be within their rights to strike back using their standard military arsenal: to respond to hacking with missile strikes. So far this has never happened -- indeed it's not entirely clear if any attack has ever reached that threshold. That doesn't mean that attacks which fail to reach that level are irrelevant or should be ignored: it just means that the country under attack can't justify resorting to military force to defend itself. 

How Technology Is Changing Leadership

This generation of CEOs is notably different from 10 years ago – and more tech-savvy than their predecessors. As the pace of technology change has picked up, CEOs are seeing new business opportunities but are under pressure to provide a better customer experience based on a new set of technologies ranging from data analytics and IoT to cloud computing and robotic process automation. At the same time, consumers are more demanding and have higher expectations for technology to be part of their lives “If the CEO isn’t thinking about how to leverage these disruptors to help drive top-line growth in their business and products, they are going to be left behind.” For many leaders, these technological innovations are making it possible to create more participatory organizations. Collaboration is the cornerstone of modern leadership. Rather than being “in charge,” collaborative leaders blur the lines between “boss” and “worker” and focus on team building, creative thinking

The 4 Top Security Concerns On The Minds Of Millennials

The 4 Top Security Concerns On The Minds Of Millennials.
Compared to older generations, millennials are more aware of various threats, and are better able to distinguish between different levels of threats online. For example, millennials are about as cautious as baby boomers when it comes to anticipating an online banking cyberattack, with 19 percent of boomers and 14 percent of millennials believing their bank could be breached. But the generations split on social media, where 63 percent of boomers think social media is especially vulnerable to cyberattacks, compared to 45 percent of millennials. Millennials would rather learn about current threats, and increase their knowledge, than work blindly  ...  Finally, millennials tend to be more trusting of external organizations, putting their faith in major brands that have established a reputation for themselves. This makes them less worried and less active when a breach is announced, and makes them more likely to lean on external vendors to solve internal security concerns.

Marketplace for artificial intelligence services emerging in 2020

Executives across many industries are realizing they need to allow users to securely access data efficiently without having to request authorization from multiple systems and to build infrastructure so their teams are fully equipped to handle big data analytics. A hybrid approach allows companies to obtain the cost savings of the cloud while protecting its intellectual property and data on-premises. Digital representations of physical structures, or digital twins, have been used for years in complex 3D renderings. But innovations in data analytics and IoT have pushed advances in 3D modeling to augment business strategies and decision-making in the enterprise. In 2018, more organizations will implement digital twins to visualize complex technologies and achieve new efficiencies with an increasingly digital approach.

Hacking Visual Studio

There is a long history to having an extensible IDE, probably originating from Alan Kay’s SmallTalk design. There is a range of reasons for wanting to add features: You might be tempted to create a custom color scheme, a tool to automate a mundane task or for moving files around. You might even need a complete support for a new programming language!  ... Some features of the IDE are not accessible from these frameworks, but you can always use them if you fully understand the caveats. I’ll mention these later in this article. To use these features, you first may need to take a look on how the creators of the IDE write their code or maybe even call their internal methods! Some of them are written in C++ but the most interesting bits are in .NET so you won’t need to resort to anything more complex than disassembling .NET assemblies.

DDoS attacks increased 91% in 2017 thanks to IoT

DDoS-for-hire services have lowered the barriers of entry for criminals to carry out these attacks, in terms of both technical ability and cost, Ashley Stephenson, CEO of Corero, said in a press release. Now, almost anyone can systematically attack and attempt to take down a company for less than $100. And in terms of IoT risks, earlier this year the Reaper botnet targeted known vulnerabilities in IoT devices and hijacked them, including internet-connected webcams, security cameras, and digital video recorders. Each time a device is infected, the device spreads the malware to other vulnerable devices, expanding its reach. "Cyber criminals try to harness more and more Internet-connected devices to build ever larger botnets," Stephenson said in the release. "The potential scale and power of IoT botnets has the ability to create Internet chaos and dire results for target victims."

Cloud migration: How to know if you’re going too fast or too slow

Cloud migration: How to know if you’re going too fast or too slow
Although a few enterprises are slow to start—and some have to yet to start—their migaations to cloud, many enterprises are blasting forward, with the funding and support to cloud-enable most of their enterprise IT by 2020.  While there may appear to be a party going on and you’ve not been invited, my advice to enterprises is to proceed to the cloud at your own measured place. Indeed, while the growth numbers are impressive, I can’t help but think that some enterprises are moving so fast to the cloud that they are bound to make some very costly mistakes such as not dealing with security, governance, and operations properly for cloud-based systems. I’ve been making a nice living over the last year fixing these.  But the larger danger is that you’re not taking advantage of what public cloud services can offer enterprises IT—and your business.

2018 - Top 10 Transformative Technology Trends

As AI, Intelligent apps and Analytics are getting more embedded into our lifestyle we are beginning to create technology that has started augmenting human lifestyle. We will see designers integrating and augmenting our everyday activities such as seeing (facial recognition), reading (semantic and sentiment analysis), listening/speaking (conversational interfaces e.g. Alexa, Siri) and emotions (affective computing). It has been predicted that we will have 75 billion connected devices by 2020! These devices will not only be connected, but will be cooperating as part of an intelligent eco-system. These smart devices will be constantly gathering data, connecting and sharing in intelligent ways to solve the desired goals of underlying systems. As AI and Intelligent things proliferate, expect to see a swarm of intelligent agents collaborating and replicating interactions in the real world.

Quote for the day:

"One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency." -- Arnold H. Glasow

Daily Tech Digest - December 26, 2017

Bitcoin, Blockchain and Gold: A Year of Disruption

Genesis Mining is the largest cloud bitcoin mining company and is growing rapidly, adding 50,000 people a day, and now has more than 2 million users. HIVE has an exclusive arrangement with Genesis to operate its data centers, so HIVE offers the opportunity to invest in the cryptocurrency sector without investing in bitcoins themselves. ... Another factor is the success of the quantitative approach, which results in very low volatility. Quants have upended the market using artificial intelligence and other algorithms. Using data mining, algorithms will direct trades within seconds. Some 60% of daily trades are now quant driven, and the average holding period of a stock is about four days. So, things are moving at a much faster pace. Here’s one example: CIBC looked at 200 case studies and found that when a company’s press release had one of seven different headlines, the stock would fall 25%.

Four tips for moving to a new managed SD-WAN service provider

Knowing what went wrong can help customers specifically select a new provider to fix the problem. Perhaps the existing provider's chosen platform turned out to be a bad fit for the customer's actual WAN usage. Maybe the provider failed to meet service-level agreements. Perhaps the provider's support organization is understaffed or experiencing major turnover that affects service. Or, maybe the provider is bad at managing third parties, like last-mile connectivity providers, for example. Whatever the reason, make sure the wisdom of experience informs the selection of the new managed SD-WAN service provider. ...  If the provider makes the change-over experience difficult, it loses any chance of winning other areas of your business, winning you back in the future or getting a good recommendation from you.

Small and Medium Business Security Strategies, Part 1: Introduction

This look is to be expected at this point. You might be asking something along these lines: What are secure configurations? How can I possibly understand “Limited Admin Privilege?” Seriously, what is vulnerability assessment and remediation? We are going to start slow, set realistic goals and will work together to get your network under control. So where to from here? No one has time, no one wants extra duties and everyone has to step in and participate. Based on experience, most offices, businesses, schools, et cetera have someone around who knows about computers. This person is usually the go-to resource for broken printers, blue screened workstations and internet outages. This person is an asset and should serve as a guide for this process. They can answer questions and will definitely know what a modem, switch and router look like.

5 Digital Transformation Trends for Healthcare Industry in 2018

Digital Transformation trends in Healthcare industry
When we are talking so much about the digital transformation in the healthcare sector, do we really know what it is and how it helps? Digital transformation is not just about buying new technologies and latest tools that can ease the process of healthcare procedures, but it is also about changing the operational process in the healthcare sector and making it more automatic and efficient. Digital transformation focuses more on information handling. If the information gathered from the modern digital devices can be channelized effectively, it can be structured to give automated responses to the existing and upcoming health problems. Merely purchasing a technology will not produce any result. There must be a plan about how we are going to use that technology to engage with the whole process of health care revamp. In some parts of the world, the planning to engage digitization with healthcare has started to produce results.

Could Blockchain Transform the Direct Selling of Insurance and Annuity Products

Distributed Ledger Technology Beyond the Hype?
Currently, there is no central authority maintaining or clearing these transactions. Each broker-dealer must maintain their own book of business. For a registered broker-dealer FINRA 17a-3 regulations require the on-going maintenance of client books and records, which is a process that would be greatly simplified by allowing the client to maintain their information directly through to the ledger. This would replace the current method of mailing letters and the subsequent manual process of updating account owner and registration information. Of course, challenges remain for the wider use of DLT until solutions for issues such as scalability and the integration with legacy systems are developed. The development of APIs is necessary to provide the integration with off-chain legacy business applications. These challenges limit wider implementation of the technology.

The 6 stages of an Advanced Ransomware Threat attack

In the ransom phase, attackers deploy ransomware to data stores where target business data resides. The ransom is timed for the date when it will have the most impact, such as just before a major announcement, during mergers and acquisitions, or surrounding audits. They may use any flavor of ransomware as long as it effectively makes the data unavailable and gives the attacker the only keys to decrypt it. ... As mentioned, there is no single form of ransomware used in ARTs. Attackers may perform the encryption using custom programs or they may use a combination of ransomware variants to encrypt data on different types of devices such as Macs or Linux servers. Finally, be aware that some attackers use ARTs as a diversion. The attackers may have already stolen the data they wanted, so they manually infect the systems with ransomware, counting on the company to wipe machines and restore from backup, thus erasing any remaining evidence of the cybercriminal’s presence.

Mobile Internet is Helping Chinese Financing Soar to New Heights

As an “upstart” rising sharply in the field of the global Internet, the developmental speed of Internet finance in China is also amazing. The number of people purchasing Internet financial products has reached 500 million, and the scale of Internet asset management has seen eight-fold increase over the last 4 years. More Chinese people directly manage their financial matters on a PC and mobile device, instead of going to the bank. Practitioners of Internet finance represented by Tianhong Asset, based on the Alipay platform of the controlling shareholder Ant Financial, have realized efficient interaction and promotion both online and offline, providing their investors with a more efficient and convenient financial experience.In China’s Internet finance industry, Tianhong Asset has set up the industry’s first cloud-based De-IOE large settlement system – Tianhong Asset Management Cloud Direct Marketing System.

AI technology adoption: What’s holding us back?

While AI adoption is beginning to prove its usefulness in many industries, it needs to have access to the right data in order have meaningful impact. Strong data quality underpinning machine learning will amplify the efficiency of organisation, and never has the phrase ‘quality in, quality out’ been more relevant. While organisations have mountains of data to sift through, strong data quality underpinning machine learning will amplify the efficiency of your business. In terms of critical success factors, context sits right alongside data quality. Chatbots are a good example of efficient machine learning currently in implementation, and of the importance of context in producing a useful outcome. While the term ‘self-learning’ is often subscribed to AI it can be misleading. It is only by acquiring more data over time and understanding the context in which this information can be accurately used that AI can improve overall performance and start to deliver real business value

Cloud API And Management Platforms & Middleware Market To Increase

Cloud API and management platforms and middleware market is fast picking up pace due to wide adoption of mobile and cloud applications for back-end services and wide adoption of microservices based architectures by enterprises. These applications comprise of small, independent processes that communicate via API, thereby creating demand for cloud API and management platforms. Emergence of Internet of Things also has a pivotal role to play in the growth of cloud API market as more number of connected devices requires more analysis and monitoring at a fast rate that can be done through cloud APIs. In addition to this several start-ups and small scale enterprises are adopting assemble from components methodology that enables end users to use APIs to connect apps to IT assets, resulting in growth in usage of cloud APIs.

New Seagate tech promises to double hard drive speeds

New Seagate tech promises to double hard drive speeds
Seagate has a high-density technology in the works called Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR), set to launch next year and in volume in late 2019, that will deliver hard disks of 20TB and more. Western Digital has something similar in the works at roughly the same timeframe. These drives will have up to eight storageplatters, and performance overall will suffer if the network is choking while waiting for data to load. “Capacity is only half of the solution. If the ability to rapidly access data doesn’t keep pace with all that capacity, the value potential of data is inhibited. Therefore, the advancement of digital storage requires both elements: increased capacity and increased performance,” Seagate said in its blog. The only way to make hard drives faster was to make them read and write faster without spinning the disk at a higher speed, so the multiple actuator drive technology makes sense.

Quote for the day:

“Learning does not make one learned: there are those who have knowledge and those who have understanding. The first requires memory and the second philosophy.” -- Alexandre Dumas

Daily Tech Digest - December 25, 2017

What Does the Human Experience Mean to Digital Identity?

The Identities Project distilled the findings into a following set of twelve articles categorized by a) identity practices employed, b) the vulnerabilities exposed, and c) the implications for policymakers and system architects.There is tension between fixed identities within rigid systems and the reality of people’s shifting, dynamic lives. There are persistent tensions around gender and identity. The social and cultural contexts of power and status embodied in the use of identification systems can serve to mitigate, as well as reinforce, established dimensions of gender identity. Crossing borders makes managing identities a struggle for migrants. Registration and enrollment into ID systems exposes and reveals vulnerabilities for many individuals. In addition to the end users, intermediaries — the people who support enrollment and ID use — may lack knowledge of awareness of changes to system rules.

Fintech and banks: Collaboration may help close digital delivery gap

Representational image. Reuters
After a combative approach, banks are now beginning to see merit in partnering with fintechs to close the digital delivery gap, and in investing in them for joint value propositions. Fintechs do not have the burden of legacy infrastructure, but lack scale and understanding of regulations. On the contrary, traditional banks have an established customer base, and heaps of data, but lack digital agility. As of 2017, top 10 global banks reported to have invested nearly $3.6 billion in about 56 fintech firms. Leading banks such as JP Morgan Chase in the US, and Santander in the UK, have also significantly increased their fintech investment. The key areas of investment include blockchain, payments, APIs, Cloud, and an overall proclivity to ensure the technology landscape is responsive to market changes. Future may seem nebulous for banks with traditional business under constant attack, but there is a silver lining for those who choose to go beyond the haze.

Agencies May Want to Think Neuro-Differently About the Cyber Workforce

ASPertise recruits “atypicals”—people who, per their conditions, often have very high IQs, memories and a “better relationship with data” than the neurotypicals, or people who aren’t on the autism spectrum, Vezon explained. Some have been employed before; others have struggled to integrate into traditional office spaces and therefore have opted out of the workforce altogether. Instead of isolating them, ASPertise embeds atypical consultants in client offices and checks in regularly to create a sort of social support network, he explained. Such a strategy could also help companies and federal agencies learn how to better accommodate an atypical workforce in the office, Vezon explained. For instance, atypicals often need cognitive stimulation, and organizations that hire them should consider that traditional reward systems—doling out performance bonuses, for instance—might not be an adequate incentive for an atypical.

Stop Fixating on the 'Artificial' in AI Because It's Actually an Evolution

Stop Fixating on the 'Artificial' in AI Because It's Actually an Evolution of Our Own Intelligence
The expression often evokes images of the Terminator coming to exterminate people -- or take their jobs. For me, it’s the “artificial” aspect that bestows the phrase with the character of something cold, alien and unsympathetic to human concerns and frailties. However, firsthand experience has taught me there's nothing artificial about intelligence. AI is real. It’s just part of a continuum of intelligence that’s now coming to machines. In practice, AI is an extension of human intelligence that’s guided by people. Far from spelling your doom, AI is more likely to save your life. Its applications can help stop a skyjacker or halt the spread of an epidemic, for example. I’ve personally observed AI’s very real and very human side in the excited faces of high-school students who have developed their own AI apps.

Blockchain: The Rajnikant or Chuck Norris of all technologies?

India-Chain will contain details of every citizen's academic records, land records, driving license, investments, marriage certificates, criminal records, biometrics, etc. Basically, India-Chain would have a citizen's birth certificate, death certificate and everything in between. Over the next 12 months, all physical property and assets would be mapped with their digital equivalents on India-Chain. So, when you buy a new car, its details would be added to a smart asset on India-Chain and every subsequent sale, insurance claim or even theft would be automatically appended to the car's record. This would make it very easy for the police to detect thefts. Taking and giving loans is also going to become very efficient. People with money to lend would create smart contracts by mentioning the amount of money they are ready to lend, the time period and minimum acceptable rate of interest.

International Standard looks to curb theft of personal data

Curbing personal data theft
The increasing prevalence of high-profile data breaches has motivated countries worldwide to investigate potential reforms to policy and regulation. One of the best-known examples is the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation to come into force in May 2018, with global implications. Privacy has taken on new dimensions in our hyper connected world. The need to protect personal data is increasing in urgency with the digital transformation of sectors such as healthcare and financial services. More and more organizations are processing personal data, all of them dealing with an increasing amount of this data. Personal data custodians have received new guidance from IEC, ISO and ITU – the three leading international standards bodies – in the form of an International Standard providing a ‘Code of Practice for the Protection of Personally Identifiable Information’.

4 New Platforms Combining VR and Blockchain

Blockchain, a decentralized ledger technology with relevant applications in finance, data storage, cybersecurity and investing, doesn’t seem like a likely candidate for virtual reality (VR). The former is a somewhat complicated platform relying on a blend of algorithmic cryptography to achieve autonomous consensus between individuals, and the latter an immersive new way to experience games and entertain oneself. However, these young inventions are finding new applications with each passing day, and are slowly drifting closer together. The market now has several examples of unique, useful solutions that combine both blockchain and VR — with others joining soon, as the trend catches on. Though VR can now claim a purpose in the fields of science, engineering and more, Decentraland takes it back to its roots: the gaming world. This virtual world is accessible through any normal VR headset and is hosted entirely on the blockchain.

Turning to Machine Learning for Industrial Automation Applications

Turning to Machine Learning for Industrial Automation Applications
If manufacturers want to remain competitive, they will have to eventually (if they haven’t already) incorporate these new technologies into their plant infrastructure or modernize their legacy systems, a key component of which is industrial automation. With consumers growing more conservative in their product views (quality and customization), being able to change production systems in a short amount of time is crucial, and advanced hardware and software help provide that path without the need for retooling or systemwide reprogramming. Machine learning in this area and all aspects of industrial automation can be beneficial—it can monitor and help perform maintenance on production machinery, reprogram industrial PCs (distributed intelligence) for new product production, and optimize the efficiency of plant operations over the entire supply chain.

The Dangers of Shadow IT to Cloud Security

The problem with Shadow IT is that the broken system that causes it to exist in the first place is precisely what hackers exploit for their attacks. For instance, a strong password security policy could accomplish the goals of one business unit by achieving a higher rate of password rotation. However, this has an unintended consequence. To simplify the password updates, users might create passwords that are easier to remember — and easier to hack. Or, if they don't receive training on using a password management system, users might write them down on paper and keep them in an insecure place, like at their desks. This defeats the purpose of changing them in the first place. The password rotation policy would have been made with good intentions, and it's obviously a good start. But without shared goals and a review across the organization, it's easy to see how it could actually do more harm than good if these programs are implemented in a silo.

The Coming Of Intelligent Apps

Some of these apps predict race performance using such metrics and average pace per mile. And some apps, such as RockMyRun, scan music playlists to slow down or speed up beats to keep pace with a runner’s footfalls and heart rate. Seeing what tech companies were doing, organizers of the New York City Marathon offered a virtual training program powered by the data-driven platform RUNtrix, which uses information provided by a user to design a regimen and predict the finishing time. “Artificial intelligence will become much more ingrained because users will expect it,” said Sanjay Malhotra , co-founder and chief technology officer of Clearbridge Mobile, an Ontario-based custom mobile app development company. Using data analysis to apply artificial intelligence, a chatbot was developed to collect information from customers and relay it to a representative. With those AI-collected details, the representative could respond with more precision.

Quote for the day:

"Science is nothing but trained and organized common sense." -- Thomas Huxley