Daily Tech Digest - October 11, 2017

Development-centric folks tend to come from a mindset where change is the thing that they are paid to accomplish. The business depends on them to respond to changing needs. Because of this relationship, they are often incentivized to create as much change as possible. Operations folks tend to come from a mindset where change is the enemy. The business depends on them to keep the lights on and deliver the services that make the business money today. Operations is motivated to resist change as it undermines stability and reliability. When that disconnect is repaired, not only will both sides be less frustrated, they're able to work much faster. For the enterprise as a whole, DevOps improves both business agility and IT alignment. In other words, businesses can deliver improved services to users while using IT to more efficiently achieve business objectives.

CIO interview: Lee Edwards, IT director, NHS Shared Business Services

Robotic process automation (RPA) will be a key area of focus for Edwards’s team over the coming year when it comes to digital initiatives. This includes a pilot and implementation of RPA and chatbot technology across a number of operational areas.  “This will bring significant efficiencies to our back office functions and help improve customer services through improved speed and accuracy of processing,” says Edwards, adding that recent proofs of concept with RPA technologies such as Kapow and Blue Prism, integrated into a Microsoft Azure technology stack.  According to Edwards, there is a lot of potential in joining RPA and technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics to bring noticeable improvements to back-office processes and customer engagement experience at NHS SBS.

Why Your Business May Not Be Ready for AI

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"Generally, the biggest impediment we see out there is the inability to create a portfolio of initiatives, so having a team or a number of teams coming back and saying, 'These are the 50 things I could do with AI based on what AI is able to do today and in the next 12 months,' and then [it's up to senior management to] prioritize them," said Giacomelli. "You need to have people going through the organization, unearthing places where value can be impacted." Over the last three decades or so, business leaders have been setting strategy and then implementing it, which isn't going to work moving forward. The AI/human equation requires a hypothesis-driven approach in which experiments can fail fast or succeed. "It's a lot more about collective intelligence than let's get a couple of experts and let them tell us where to do this. There are no experts here," Giacomelli said.

Artificial Intelligence: Experts Talk Ethical, Security Concerns

"What's core is making sure there's clear accountability, and being concerned with the types of controls we seek in AI," Sharkey continued. There is a need for deep learning, and deep reinforcement learning, as we seek AI applications in child care, elder care, transport, and agriculture. "Future-proofing" AI should consider its implications for human rights. "Artificial intelligence transforms everything around us; every industry, our health, our education," explained Aleksandra Przegalinska-Skierkowska, assistant professor at Kozminski University and research fellow for Collective Intelligence at MIT. "Especially if we want autonomous vehicles or virtual agents, we need a code of conduct for them." We are at a point when people have begun to reflect on issues related to machine ethics and morality, she added.

Business needs help to act on cyber security advice

“Part of our role is also to cut through the noise and show businesses that the things that will make a difference for the majority of small businesses cost little or nothing to implement.” Many of the things small businesses can do to improve their cyber security only have a cost in time and effort, said Unsworth. “Cyber security is not always about buying a technical solution,” he added. Investments in security technologies depend on the size of the business, the business operating model and what the business is trying to achieve, he said. “So for businesses that handle sensitive information, there is a cost because they need to ensure that data is protected and demonstrate that they have a good security posture.” The role of the London DSC is to identify and prioritise business needs in terms of cyber security controls, said Unsworth.

Is Your Company Ready to Face Tomorrow’s Security Risks?

IT security strategy should take into account a few important factors, such as business and corporate strategy, IT strategy, compliance and standards, regularly repeated analysis of threats, risks and current security state. The starting point for building an IT security strategy should be the determination of goals and direction of the company and its business. Then, the assessment of the current security state should take place. Within this assessment, deep knowledge of the company, its processes, functions and business is needed. The security strategy should always be compatible with the business and company strategy, taking into account future plans and products. If we know where we are, and we understand where the company is heading, we can start working on specifying the desired state of the company’s security and methods

Businesses and their employees admit to GDPR confusion

GDPR Employee Confusion
It is not just inside the office where people need to consider compliance, as 30% of people admitted to having viewed someone else’s laptop during their commute. Businesses must ensure that even when working on the go, their employees are preventing others from obtaining information on their customers and contacts. The new regulations will protect consumers against companies that hold inaccurate and unneeded data about them, as well as ensuring greater emphasis is put on prominent and unambiguous customer consent with the ability to withdraw at any time. ... “Despite the impending GDPR deadline, our research shows that many companies don’t appear to have systems and policies in place to protect sensitive information. If this data is then stored illegally – or falls into the wrong hands – the damage caused to the organisation could be irreparable.”

SailPoint survey reveals cyber risks are leaving IT in the dark

According to SailPoint’s 9th annual Market Pulse Survey, senior IT decision makers say that more cyber risks are being created outside of the IT department’s visibility; yet it remains IT’s responsibility to mitigate these risks. The survey found that organisations need to better define and enforce corporate policies company-wide, addressing risks like shadow IT and bring your own device (BYOD) given today’s increasingly mobile, agile workforce. Recent sprawling attacks like WannaCry that affected organisations worldwide, as well as direct attacks on organisations of all sizes and in all industries, have demonstrated the significant organisational damage they cause. In the wake of data breach pandemics at levels seen over the past year, most organisations should take stock of the security controls they currently have in place

Artificial Intelligence Threats and Promises

Pepper robot and young girl
Artificial intelligence is unleashing the next wave of digital disruption. Early adopters are already creating competitive advantages. Companies that combine a strong digital foundation with an aggressive adoption of AI are well poised to become leaders in their industry. This potentially allows old-world companies a way to remain relevant in the wake of global competition. The adoption of AI is rapidly reaching a tipping point. A Narrative Science survey last year found 38 percent of enterprises are already using AI, growing to 62 percent by 2018. Forrester Research predicted a greater than 300 percent increase in AI investments from 2016 to 2017. IDC estimated the AI market will grow from $8 billion in 2016 to more than $47 billion in 2020.

Five Key Differences Between Personal and Enterprise Endpoint Security

Most home computer users have administrator rights on their devices. Administrators can install software, which means that attackers can install malware by compromising these credentials. People working in corporate environments rarely have administrator access to their own machines, so they cannot update the operating system or critical programs on their own. As a result, phishing and social media attacks are somewhat more likely to succeed in a consumer environment. However, attacks that manage to infect corporate devices are much more difficult to remove and usually require intervention from those responsible for centralized computer management. If a vendor issues a patch for a significant vulnerability or newly discovered exploit, those responsible for updating systems must do so quickly. 

Quote for the day:

"The actions of a responsible executive are contagious." -- Joe D. Batton

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