Daily Tech Digest - February 16, 2017

Biometrics lead to liberty, security debate

“It’s going to apply to all of us, because there is a global priority of security and that philosophy has been clearly illustrated by President Donald Trump,” Joyner said. The benefits of these systems is the potential to reduce fraud, increase security by accurately assessing and identifying individuals, eliminating the need for passwords and, possibly, a cashless society, he said. “There have already been programs like this in effect, and I think that’s why nobody is questioning it now,” constitutional law professor Joseph Ignagni said. The issue presents an interesting legal question about the Fourth Amendment, which protects people against unreasonable searches and seizures without a warrant or probable cause, since seizing biometric data is technically a search that is being recorded or kept without probable cause, Ignagni said.

One in three cybersecurity job openings go begging, survey finds

The experience part is paradoxical, of course, since someone somewhere has to bet their infrastructure on an inexperienced but eager candidate willing to learn. There are some choice certifications that make the difference, led by the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification, sought by 27 percent of security managers. The survey report's authors recommend nurturing talent from within, to invest in offering support for training and certifications to current staff members. The advantage is these individuals already understand the business, and who owns what line of business. At least 26 percent of security professionals say they have positions that have been open for more than six months, and another six percent say they have positions they haven't been able to fill.

Demand for qualified cybersecurity professionals continues to outstrip supply

Studies show most corporate job openings result in 60 to 250 applicants. Compounding the problem, ISACA’s State of Cybersecurity 2017 found that 37 per cent of respondents say fewer than 1 in 4 candidates have the qualifications employers need to keep companies secure. “Though the field of cybersecurity is still relatively young, demand continues to skyrocket and will only continue to grow in the coming years,” says Christos Dimitriadis, ISACA board chair and group director of Information Security for INTRALOT. “As enterprises invest more resources to protect data, the challenge they face is finding top-flight security practitioners who have the skills needed to do the job. When positions go unfilled, organisations have a higher exposure to potential cyberattacks. It’s a race against the clock.”

Board Can Play A Key Role In Curbing Cyber Threats

The good news is, there has been an increase in the number of firms whose boards of directors and management that are actively engaged with cybersecurity and adopting best practices in their IT departments. Protiviti’s 2017 Security and Privacy Survey shows that current board engagement levels are at 33 percent, compared to 28 percent in 2015. “While there has been an increase in boards of directors’ and company management’s engagement with information security is a positive sign, it’s imperative that leadership keeps closer tabs on the state of their organizations’ cybersecurity programs,” said Scott Laliberte, a Protiviti managing director and leader of the firm’s global IT security and privacy practice.

Lawmakers Want Self-Driving Cars To Thrive But Still Fear Hacks

The vision of widespread self-driving cars might not be realized without Congressional help. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chair John Thune, R-S.D., and Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., announced plans Tuesday to eventually introduce legislation that promoting the autonomous vehicle industry.  Today's federal safety standards involve concepts such as the "placement of driver controls" that "assume a human operator," they wrote in a statement. "While these requirements make sense in today’s conventional vehicles, they could inhibit innovation or create hazards for self-driving vehicles." They also plan to examine the "existing patchwork of laws and regulations and the traditional roles of federal and state regulators.”

Hands on with the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 hybrid

A notebook should take you from workstation to couch to the road, with as few peripherals or headaches as possible. But as notebooks get thinner and lighter, more manufacturers have followed Macbook's footsteps and ditched full-sized HDMI, DisplayPorts and USB ports. Instead, the trend is turning towards USB Type-C connectors that can do it all -- as long as you have the right adapter. I've had to temper my great port-expectations because I know it's not reasonable to expect a full USB or HDMI port on a thin, compact device. But, that doesn't mean I'm ready to say goodbye to every port. While the Macbook is an extreme example -- it features just one USB Type-C port for everything, including charging -- Dell found a comfortable middle ground on the XPS 13 2-in-1.

Google Assistant Will Soon Be Able To Buy Stuff For You On Command

There isn’t much you can do with the feature after it’s set up, but presumably Google will announce support for third-party stores shortly. At the start of the set-up process, you’ll need to accept the terms and conditions for both Google Payments and Google Express, an online marketplace that links to a number of popular stores, such as Walgreens, Costco, and Toys R Us, so at the very least you'll be able to buy things there. However, asking Google Assistant to shop for something on Google Express merely brings up a search results screen. Since the feature is tied to your Google account and not the Pixel phone specifically, it’s likely it will work with all of the devices integrated with Assistant, including Google Home and Android Wear 2.0 watches.

There Are A Lot Of Open Questions When It Comes To Machine-Based Innovation

The trend in machine learning has been strongly in favor of neural networks. If 2016 was the year when Alpha-Go bested world's best Go players, I think 2017 will be the year where we make continued progress towards neural-networks based technologies entering the every-day world. I'm thinking better personal assistants (Amazon's Alexa and Google Home are already great successes), greater progress towards autonomous vehicles, machine learning in health-care, etc. People way smarter than myself have been thinking about this. I really like Andrew Ng's perspective: 'if a typical person can do a mental task with less than one second of thought, we can probably automate it using AI either now or in the near future.' A lot of analytics that are done require way more than one second of thought!

10 Management Techniques from Born-Digital Companies

Born-digital enterprises are “a generation of organizations founded after 1995, whose operating models and capabilities are based on exploiting internet-era information and digital technologies as a core competency.” “It’s actually the superior leadership thinking, patterns of thought and competencies they’re employing that are beginning to be the differentiators,” said Mark Raskino, VP and Gartner Fellow at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Barcelona, Spain. But conventional companies are often resistant to the idea that they might be able to replicate some of these ideas in their own enterprise. However, the excuses are starting to fall away as companies move toward digital. Traditional companies previously may have thought, those are startups so they can operate differently or those are small companies, they work in the ephemeral, or they are all U.S.-based companies.

Clear goals, patience required for successful IT automation strategy

"There is a training curve for digital systems that does not elicit better work in the short term; it takes time to get there," Conlee said.  An IT automation strategy can be a huge help when it comes to one common issue facing modern digitized companies, Galusha said: process and data complexity. Because these companies are responsible for many systems with numerous internal/external data sources, it is difficult to connect all that information to the company's processes. A robotic process automation strategy can help with consolidating data for analytics purposes, Galusha said, and apply unique business rules to information contained in these numerous data sources.  "Your processes, and how you are making decisions, [is] only as good as the information," Galusha said. "If you are doing it manually, it's slow, it's inefficient, and you're probably making errors along the way."

Quote for the day:

"Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." --Theodore Roosevelt

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