Daily Tech Digest - December 26, 2018

Digital Transformation: How to Create an Intelligent Company

For a company to shift towards becoming intelligent, it needs to have more than just the technology to enable the transformation. There is a need for significant changes in the way employees think about data and how it can be effectively processed and acted on, i.e. a change in culture and the way employees go about their daily business. In particular, data scientist Ronald van Loon has identified the following areas as key to creating intelligent processes that augment the abilities and efficiency of employees: Design thinking is part of a broad methodology that amalgamates elements of imagination, intuition, holistic reasoning, and logic, to explore all the probable solutions for a given problem. It includes the identification of all unarticulated needs expressed by a consumer. After identifying the needs, the team creates solutions that address all those needs and end up creating the “wow” effect. The solutions are generated creatively and analytically. Design thing should always be more solution-oriented than problem-oriented.

6 types of cyber security risks you need to know about

“Technology can’t help a human problem which involves someone manipulating an employee or contractor to perform an action or divulge confidential material. “In one instance, a stranger came onto the premises for an alleged job interview, told the receptionist he had spilled coffee on his CV, handed her a USB and asked her to print it for him. Once the USB was inserted to her computer the attacker gained remote access to that machine and from there, the entire network,” said Dicks. Physical security is a basic but often overlooked form of defence, said Dicks. “Staff must report all strangers they see in the office that are not clearly marked with a visitor’s access card. Access to the building needs to be rigorously managed. “Unknown USBs may not be used and sensitive information should be shredded. Password protection policies must be strictly adhered to – people are still writing their passwords on a piece of paper.”

Disruptive Effects of Cloud Native Machine Learning Systems and Tools

Automated machine learning (AutoML) goes one step further. It can completely automate training a machine learning model and serve it out in production. It accomplishes this by training models from labeled columns (say, images) and automatically evaluating the best model. Next, an AutoML system registers an API that allows for predictions again that trained model. Finally, the model will have many diagnostic reports available that allow for a user to debug the created model—all without writing a single line of code.  Tools like this drive AI adoption in the enterprise by empowering and democratizing AI to all employees. Often, important business decisions are siloed away in the hands of a group of people who are the ones with the technical skills to generate models. With AutoML systems, it puts that same ability directly into the hands of decision makers who create AI solutions with the same ease that they use a spreadsheet.

YES Bank Unveils 20 Data Driven Products at YES Datathon

Yes Bank
The top 20 models identified by the Bank will be taken live within a month and the remaining will be moved to the Bank’s product library to be iteratively developed and taken live within a period of three months. ... Talking about the event, Rajat Monga, Senior Group President, Financial Markets, YES BANK, said “YES BANK embarked on a data centered business model as part of our TechTonic initiative and now has a full stack of technology and talent capability built up. In order to leap frog on this data native transformation, YES Datathon provides us with an opportunity to engage with 6000+ data scientists. It has helped us identify newer use cases as well as statistical techniques and also incorporate cross-industry best practices. Going forward, YES BANK will also host AI/ML challenges and data engineering workshops to deepen practical and technical knowhow of future technology leaders and to facilitate this, has partnered with top IITs and BITS Bombay to further develop the data science ecosystem, allowing students the opportunity to build algorithms and data models in a deployment ready environment.

Cybersecurity Is Providing Information And Solutions Not Selling Fear

Even the most sophisticated companies with massive code review bureaucracies and elaborate deployment checklists can inadvertently push a bad update out. The issue here is not that SiteLock sent an errant malware alert to Domain.com’s customers. Rather, the issue is that the email did not contain any actionable information for the user to triage the situation, non-SiteLock customers had no ability to access any information about the reported malware and the company waited more than 24 hours to send a correction email to affected users, while Domain.com did absolutely nothing to assist its customers. A website that is actively serving malware to visitors is an incredibly serious situation and could indicate that the site has been breached and that customer data may be stolen as well. Waiting more than an entire day before telling users that a malware alert was in error is immensely irresponsible in today’s day and age.

Enterprise SBCs: Why They Matter

Enterprise Network
Today, securing VoIP sessions and applications has become a huge challenge. With a growing number of calls and collaborative sessions using VoIP on public and private networks, service providers must respond to enterprises’ increasing concerns about security. Session border controllers (SBCs) have always been the backbone of secure, quality VoIP. Today, enterprise session border controllers (E-SBCs) are making it possible for even the most mission-critical, massive enterprise VoIP systems to securely connect with SIP trunks, over-the-top trunks, and cloud-based unified communications (UC) technology. There are different types of SBCs, each serving similar but different purposes in a network. Essentially, SBCs are guardians at the gate: They make sure that only certain people are allowed in or out of a network domain. An E-SBC is a type of SBC that is specifically deployed to manage SIP traffic access – including VoIP, video, or instant messaging traffic – between SIP trunks and the enterprise network or between a UC service and the enterprise network.

Hyperledger Sawtooth 1.1 Adds New Consensus Algorithms

As a result of rearchitecting its consensus engine API, consensus protocols are now implemented as “consensus engines”, which improves their modularity. This required creating a new implementation of the Proof of Elapsed Time (PoET) consensus algorithm, which is one of Sawtooth main tenets and strives to achieve minimal resource consumption. PoET is a form of Nakamoto-style consensus, where a leader is elected through some form of lottery to choose a block to be added to a chain of previously committed blocks. While in Bitcoin the lottery is won by the first participant to solve a cryptographic puzzle, PoET leverages Intel Software Guard Extensions (SGX), which are becoming widely available in consumer and enterprise processors. SGX allow applications to create a trusted-code enclave. In short, each participant in PoET requests a wait time from the enclave and claims its role as a leader at the end of the wait. The first participant to claim its leader role wins.

Are Countries Finally Outgrowing Their Fear of Blockchain?

Are Countries Finally Outgrowing Their Fear of Blockchain?
Switzerland is not the first country to offer a national blockchain program. Australia, Malta, Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates, Ireland, Russia, Brazil, China and India, to name a few, have announced a slew of programs. Some countries, like India, have taken a dichotomous approach to cryptocurrency and blockchain. The Central Bank of India (RBI) is still “evaluating” the legality of cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, while mulling over its own version, the Laxmi coin. On the contrary, the incumbent central government, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and various tech-savvy state governments like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, have latched on to the blockchain bandwagon. Blockchain is now appearing in nation’s strategies, lawmakers’ lingo and in the agenda of think-tank sessions. Governments seem to have embarked on the process of appearing out of the fear psychosis of cryptocurrencies.

The opportunities and challenges of a freelance data scientist

Freelancing gives me the opportunity to work with people from all over the world — for example, I have worked with clients in Italy, India, Amsterdam and Belgium. The variety means I get lots of opportunities to learn about new fields and new techniques. These kinds of learning experiences are vital to providing clients with quality deliverables. Perhaps the most successful project I have worked on as a freelancer was with a team that was evaluating survey data for an international authors’ journal. The survey had hundreds of questions and results for several thousand authors and editors, who were located in five different countries. I developed smart techniques for analysing such a vast amount of data and the client was delighted with the outcome. I particularly enjoy helping clients frame their projects, helping them to ask the right questions of the data and pointing out the value of generating testable hypotheses.

Is Fintech Recruitment Heading for Troubling Times?

To attract and retain talent, both from abroad and at home, employers will have to do everything they can to vie for talent. Fintech is a competitive recruitment market. To put it simply, companies need people that are smart, talented, and innovative, with a wide range of skills. Unfortunately talent like this is hard to come by. They know their worth and are choosy about who they want to work for. To combat this, employers will need to focus on creating a compelling offer for potential employees. In our opinion a key strategy for attracting Fintech talent has to be offering flexible working at the point of hire. Much of today’s workforce wants to work flexibly. In a recent PowWowNow study, 70% of workers felt that offering flexible working makes a job more attractive to them. This is especially apparent amongst millennial talent who make up a large proportion of the Fintech sector. Tech talent want to be in control of their working hours. They don’t want to waste time commuting if they don’t have to, and they want to work when they are most productive.

Quote for the day:

"When a man assumes leadership, he forfeits the right to mercy." -- Gennaro Angiulo