Daily Tech Digest - March 08, 2018

How to avoid the organizational flu

Unfortunately, as long as humans operate in close proximity we’re going to infect one another. That’s where the term “communicable disease” comes from, and communicability can be as dangerous to an organization as it is to an organism.One way to understand health is as an incessant war against things that are trying to kill us. Our bodies come into contact with a wide variety of germs every day which proliferate and attack until stopped. When a vigorous immune system successfully defends the body from marauding invaders, the resulting stasis is defined as health. But it’s a never-ending battle. My firm’s research discovered four common “germs” that continually lurk within organizations -- destructive internal dynamics that can easily cause a business to be bedridden. They are management misalignment, loss of focus, lack of nerve and strategic inconsistency. As with real germs, they’re ever-present at some level, even within thriving companies. The primary task is to keep them contained. 


Microsoft fights massive cryptocoin miner malware outbreak

Microsoft said that the Dofoil trojan performs a fancy trick called 'process hollowing' on the legitimate explorer.exe binary. The technique creates a new instance of the legitimate binary but swaps out its code with malware. "The hollowed explorer.exe process then spins up a second malicious instance, which drops and runs a coin-mining malware masquerading as a legitimate Windows binary, wuauclt.exe," said Mark Simos, a cybersecurity architect at Microsoft. Kaspersky researchers observed sophisticated attackers using the process-hollowing technique to deliver miners that earned them millions of dollars in the second half of 2017. Process hollowing is useful because antivirus often mistakes it for harmless software. Kaspersky said victims are typically infected after downloading legit-looking software. To maintain a position on an infected PC, Dofoil tweaks the Windows registry after process-hollowing explorer.exe.


Here are the 10 most in-demand AI skills and how to develop them

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It's no secret that artificial intelligence (AI) is an emerging technological trend, with talent in the field in high demand as companies look for a competitive edge. AI is expected to create 2.3 million jobs by 2020, replacing the 1.8 millions it will eliminate, according to a Gartner report. That job growth has already hit the field itself: Employer demand for AI positions and skills has more than doubled over the past three years, according to job search site Indeed. Titles like machine learning engineer, computer vision engineer, and data scientist are among the most in-demand AI jobs, as companies search for candidates to help bring AI to their workplace or external efforts. Knowing which skills are most sought after can help tech professionals pinpoint what they need to work on to break into the field. Indeed looked at job postings from 2017 for AI-related job titles to determine the most common skills hiring managers are requesting from candidates.


The role of container management software in IT ops

Ultimately, having a consistent management experience across all the potential container deployment platforms will be essential for management, said Edwin Yuen, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "Businesses should consider how other additional features and services integrate with their management tools, including the emerging areas of container-specific security and backup/recovery solutions," Yuen said. "The ecosystem for container management is building, and how those tools work together will be key to determining how easy or difficult management will be as containers continue to become more mainstream." But perhaps it is even simpler. "In the end, the two biggest things to consider are price and support," said Mike LaFleur, global head of solution architecture at Provenir, a software vendor in risk management. "In terms of price, an organization has to measure the return on investment that the container management system will provide, meaning how big must the efficiency and scalability gains be in order to cost-justify the expense," LaFleur said.


70% of Leaders are Scared to Talk With Their Employees.


It's one thing to feel uncomfortable giving bad news or constructive feedback, but this survey indicates a general unease among managers when it comes to communicating with the people on their team. That not only makes feedback difficult, but all conversations become less productive. So, how does love solve this? Because to love someone, you have to know them. And if you know them -- really know them -- then it becomes easier to have conversations, even conversations that are difficult. Now, I don't expect you to love your employees in the same way that I love my wife. After all, she's my wife! But there's no reason you can't get to know your employees in much the same way as you get to know the people you love in your personal life. In fact, there's every reason that you should. But here's the ironic twist: To make hard conversations easier and less uncomfortable, you have to do some hard work that will make you uncomfortable. The results, however, are worth it.


UK Government sets cyber security guidelines for millions of IoT devices

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“Today’s call by the government is welcomed, but they must set the standards for developing security practices for IoT devices,” explained David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab. We’ve all come to expect that everyday objects – from children’s toys to furniture – come with certification marks indicating that they are physically safe, but developers of smart devices do little to secure them, rarely release firmware updates, and don’t explain to users that they should change their passwords. Software should be updated automatically with clear guidance for customers.” Moving forward ,Julian David, CEO of TechUK said that this project represents the start of a security revolution when it comes to IoT devices. “Industry has been keen to engage in the review and demonstrate what is best practice. It is important that companies throughout the supply chain now adopt and build on this Code of Practice to build the trust required to drive widespread take-up of the IoT.”


Connected Cars Pose New Security Challenges

It's too early to tell how vehicle connectivity may impact an enterprise and it may seem absurd to think about a car as an enterprise network endpoint, but some luxury vehicle brands already have office productivity tools in-dash. Using the car as a workstation will only increase in popularity as autonomous driving replaces manual driving. In addition to the in-dash email, cars are also providing Wi-Fi hotspots and interfaces like Apple iOS CarPlay and Google Android Auto, which make our cars look and act more like our phones, raising the same kinds of concerns that are present with mobile devices in personal life and for the enterprise. Autonomous driving isn't limited to making knowledge workers' windshield time more productive. Logistics companies, for example, will benefit tremendously from autonomous vehicles, but imagine an attacker compromising and shutting down those vehicles: the results would be disastrous not only to the logistics company but to all of the businesses that rely on them as a vendor.


AI is Changing the Way We Use VR in the Workplace

In what may be the oddest example of VR, The New York Times recently created a VR newspaper. That’s right, you can use buttons to flip the pages of a virtual newspaper using VR, rather than buying a physical newspaper and flipping those pages with your fingers. Whether this is to reduce paper waste or just get the newspaper to more people, they did it, and one may wonder how the digital world will ultimately affect paper media in the future. It may be hard to imagine other magazines and newspapers moving to this format, but one never knows. With the conjunctions of AI and VR we’ve seen thus far however, imagine if machine learning could start to predict design trends in something like a VR newspaper? Or a magazine? It seems completely possible that machine learning could predict market trends in print design through these VR publications, especially once their algorithms start to keep track of sales in addition to commonly used visual trends over time. This will take a while to see however.


4 Priceless Tactics to Create Top-Tier Homegrown Talent


We’re at a fascinating time in history. Since the turn of the millennium, there have been countless technological breakthroughs that have changed the business world as we know it. Even more, the generation raised over this time (trying not to use the “M” word) is beginning to form the majority of the workforce. One of the major consequences of these changes is that the value of company culture is at an all-time high. As the cost of employee turnover certainly isn’t getting any less, business owners need to take the oft-neglected practice of developing in-house talent VERY seriously. While this process can definitely be cumbersome, it must be viewed as a long term investment in the most crucial resource for any organization: people. For business owners, the workplace isn’t just an entity that benefits the bottom line. If you want people to stick around for the long haul, there needs to be a focus on making your company a breeding group for exceptional talent.


Cybersecurity and Brexit: What does it mean for the fight against hackers?

"International operations are pretty much standard now for dealing with especially high level and more dangerous types of cybercrime," Edmunds said. That international perspective isn't limited to the borders of the European Union - Europol will regularly work with the FBI and other law enforcement bodies around the globe in order to fight a worldwide threat. "Irrespective of what happens during Brexit, the international nature of the attacks and where the attackers come from is going to be really prominent going forward," said Edmunds. But there's one area where some are already worried that Brexit will have a negative impact -- hiring new tech professionals, which is especially worrying for cyber security as many organisations already find it difficult to fill information security roles. Some have concerns that a Brexit deal which heavily restricts freedom of movement could have repercussions for UK firms when it comes to hiring talent.



Quote for the day:


"You are cruising along, and then technology changes. You have to adapt." -- Marc Andreessen