Daily Tech Digest - March 13, 2017

8 Public Cloud Security Threats to Enterprises in 2017

Cloud uptake will accelerate faster in 2017, according to a report by Forrester. ‘Enterprises with big budgets, data centres, and complex applications are now looking at cloud as a viable place to run core business applications’ says Dave Bartoletti, analyst at Forrester. An average of 1031 cloud services is now in use per enterprise — up from 977 in the previous quarter — according to Netskope’s January Cloud Report. But the threat of cyber crime in 2017 is massive and data breaches are becoming more commonplace. With the average cost of a breach now a massive $4 million, enterprises cannot afford to consider public cloud cyber security an afterthought. But there are numerous cyber security threats out there for enterprises migrating to, or already running critical infrastructure in the cloud.

Getting started with Perl on the Raspberry Pi

The origin of the myth is simple. The Raspberry Pi's creator, UK Computer Science professor Eben Upton, has told the story that the "Pi" part of the name was intended to sound like Python because he likes the language. He chose it as his emphasis for kids to learn coding. But he and his team made a general-purpose computer. The open source software on the Raspberry Pi places no restrictions on us. We're all free to pick what we want to run and make each Raspberry Pi our own. ... 'PiFlash' script was written in Perl, but it doesn't require any knowledge of Perl to automate your task of flashing SD cards for a Raspberry Pi from a Linux system. It provides safety for beginners, so they won't accidentally erase a hard drive while trying to flash an SD card. It offers automation and convenience for power users, which includes me and is why I wrote it.

Millennials vs Fintech

Ask 10 Millennials about the definition of Fintech, and only one will answer you correctly (if you’re lucky). But don’t let that fool you, or think that as a bank or company, you shouldn’t invest in financial technology for your clients. Because nine out of these ten Millennials is using financial technology on a daily basis. Life has become phygital, which means that - for youngsters as for the rest of us - the boundaries between digital and fysical are fading. For instance, we use our banking app to transfer money to friends and colleagues instantly, but we go see our banker face-to-face (in the bank/video call) for troubleshooting a financial affair. This trend is unlikely to go away. Technology will continue to infuse our daily lives, be it less and less intrusive and visible. But the technology is no goal in itself. People don’t want tech, they want convenient, instant and transparent services. Technology is only the means to an end.

Now Google's clever AI can tell you're not a bot without reCAPTCHA even appearing

Google hasn't explained how the system works, and as Ars Technica notes, that's probably because Google doesn't want to help spammers bypass it. However, the reCAPTCHA API that supports the ReCAPTCHA checkbox is still working in the background. It allows Google to collect and analyze information about devices and apps. Google has previously said it uses "advanced risk-analysis techniques to distinguish humans from machines". The company's backend services connected with the reCAPTCHA API assess a visitor's interaction with the CAPTCHA before, during and after to tell if they're bots. The evolution of the technology has allowed it over time to introduce easier puzzles for low risk profile visitors, and harder ones for probable bots.

Why C-Levels Need To Think Differently About Social Media Strategy

“Consumers now know that when it comes to customer service, social media gives them much more power,” says Erik Huberman, CEO of Hawke Media, a top outsourced CMO partner. “With social media, these consumers are acutely aware that if they have a problem with your company and you don’t handle it well, they hold the power to expose the issue to their entire network, which can be devastating to a company.” ... It should probably go without saying, but today’s consumers expect timely responses. 32% of consumers who reach out to a brand on social for customer support expect a response in 30 minutes, and 42% expect a response within an hour. For brands without robust social teams, that kind of response time might sound ambitious at best. But with all the tools and technology we have available today, there’s no real excuse for delayed responses anymore — at least in the consumer’s eyes.

Open source security and ‘hacking robots before skynet’

How about robots with wheels instead of legs? Researchers have also proven that cars can be hacked, including steering, brakes, and the infotainment system. Uconnect, an Internet-connected computer feature in hundreds of thousands of vehicles, controls the entertainment and navigation systems, enables phone calls, and even offers a Wi-Fi hot spot. Thanks to one vulnerable element, using the vehicle’s Uconnect system, which plugs into a cellular network, security researchers were able to gain control of the car’s entertainment system and then rewrite the firmware to send commands to critical systems like the brakes, steering, and transmission. In a world where self-driving cars are already on the roads, this should worry everyone. Cars are among the most sophisticated machines on the planet, containing 100 million or more lines of code.

Disaster recovery: How is your business set up to survive an outage?

“The problem is the cost of maintaining and running these infrastructures. If an application or service has requirements to truly be a 'dial tone-like' system (always on – never without) then a business will spend the dollars required to ensure the five nines of availability and then some,” he said.  ... Clustering has also been around for a long time for servers and as that technology has moved down the stack into the infrastructure services, the ease at which availability can be provided is greatly improved – just at a cost.  Although he said cost is not the only down side. “Active-active recovery solutions do not account for user error. They are garbage in garbage out, and in the event of this type of an outage, you need to have something that is tracking point in time consistency of the data to recover back to. The GitLab outage from a few weeks ago is a great example of this,” Foster said.

PwC and Startupbootcamp chart fintech maturity

The early perception of FinTech is shifting. Where startups were once seen as a threat by incumbents, the emphasis is shifting to one of collaboration. While it has taken a while for startups and incumbents to find a way to work together, Startupbootcamp and PwC have witnessed a clear increase in the two parties working together to solve important problems - both for customers and for the companies themselves.  As the relationship matures, incumbent financial services firms continue to struggle with measuring and reporting the success they find when partnering with startups. Nevertheless, the atmosphere of collaboration and mutual understanding is positive and expected to accelerate.

Mainframe: platform of choice for machine learning and ops intel

CA is making significant investments in the areas of machine learning, advanced analytics and automation to drive towards more intelligent mainframe management, addressing not only Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR) but more importantly, “Predicted Time to Avoidance” (PTTA). This represents a shift into a category that Gartner calls AIOps. “AIOps platforms represent the evolving and expanded use of technologies previously categorized as IT operations analytics (ITOA). This shift is in response to the growing importance (due to digital business demands) and the use of big data and machine-learning technologies across all major ITOM functions, including the service desk, automation and monitoring.”  At CA, we believe that MTTR is just part of the solution because it only alerts the mainframe system operator of an issue after it has happened – reactive problem solving.

Bittercoin: true blockchain believers vs. the trough of disillusionment

Is this a slow death spiral, signalling the sad end of Satoshi Nakamoto’s dream and the motley crew of plucky cryptoheroes who defend it? Or is something interesting happening beneath this sheen of despair and decay? The answer is: possibly neither, probably the latter, almost certainly not the former. The searching-for-the-new-new-thing, what-have-you-done-for-me-lately mindset of so much of the tech industry tends to equate a period of slow grinding with stagnation and death. This is not so. The quixotic quest for the cryptocurrency “killer app” — one that will bring widespread, mainstream usage — continues, and won’t succeed any time soon; but, meanwhile, a whole panoply of interesting and practical use cases has arisen. Call them “maimer apps.”

Quote for the day:

"Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy." -- Tchaikovsky

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