Daily Tech Digest - February 08, 2019

Will Robo-Advisors And Chatbots Eliminate The Need For Financial Literacy?

The cause of financial problems isn't poor financial literacy--it's poor financial behavior. But bad behavior is really just a symptom. Bad financial behavior--like overdrawing on a checking account or paying bills late--doesn't occur because someone is financially illiterate. It happens because they have other challenges and problems. Want to help those people? Find out what those problems/challenges are and address them. Financial services providers are just making themselves feel better by providing financial education to "cure" financial illiteracy. Robo-advisors may be great for stock picking and portfolio allocation, and chatbots might be great for customer service, but they're useless in helping people improve their financial health and performance unless they drive behavioral change. The reality is this: A mediocre robo-advisor with the right incentives and engagement model to drive behavior change can be more effective in improving consumers' financial performance than a great robo-advisor with poor incentives and ineffective engagement model.

Best practices for thwarting DNS hijacking attacks

The DHS emergency order validates what we in the industry have been advising our customers and businesses in general for some time. The use of multifactor authentication and ongoing monitoring of DNS records are basic security measures all businesses should be taking to protect their sites and underlying customer data from DNS hijacking attacks. We also strongly recommend implementing DNSSEC, which enables recursive DNS resolvers to check the authenticity of the information received from the previous authoritative DNS server in the series of lookups required to return a DNS answer to a user. This prevents a criminal from sending a user to a malicious site instead of the intended business web site. DNS is a critical technology that connects all aspects of IT infrastructure, applications and online services – everything between the server and the user – which makes it an extremely attractive target for cybercriminals.

“To stay ahead of cyber threats, it is crucial we support and promote our world-class cyber security industry,” said digital minister Margot James. “Tech Nation’s new programme will not only help young businesses to expand, but ensure our thriving cyber sector continues to grow.” There are currently more than 800 cyber security businesses based in the UK, 89% of which are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Tech Nation hopes that accelerating the growth of the country’s leading startups will help to boost the UK’s overall digital security sector. “This is both an important and exciting time for the UK digital security industry,” said Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech Nation. “The UK is an acknowledged leader in cyber security and many successful businesses – large and small – are headquartered here. But it can be a challenging marketplace for young businesses that are seeking to expand.”

Test Automation in the World of AI & ML

Often it is thought that Functional Test Automation should be done only once the feature / product is stable. IMHO - this is a waste of automation, especially when everyone now sees the value from Agile-based delivery practices - and doing incremental software delivery.  With this approach, it is extremely important to automate as much as we can, while the product is being built, using the guidelines of the Test Automation Pyramid. Once the team knows what now needed to automate at the top / UI layer, we should automate those tests. Given that the product is evolving, the tests will definitely keep failing as the product evolves. This is NOT a problem with the tests, but the fact that the test has not evolved along with the evolving product.  Now to make the once-passing test pass again, the Functional Test Automation Tool / Framework should make updating / evolving the existing test as easy as possible.

The hidden challenges undermining the customer experience

6 experience
Part of the problem is that too many organizations see the customer experience as nothing but another name for the buying process. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. As Brian Solis explained in his 2013 book, What’s the Future of Business, the customer journey is now a perpetual cycle that moves through four "moments of truth" that begins with discovery, continues through acquisition and consumption, and begins anew with a customer sharing their history and opinion with others, which often intersects with someone else's first moments of truth. The buying process is neither the beginning nor the end of the customer experience. This fact becomes essential as organizations seek to compete based on the experience — and lays bare some of the challenges with delivering it. When the customer journey transcends every aspect of their engagement with you, the technical stakes become monumental. While there are elements of the customer experience that happen in a non-digital manner, the number of interactions that don't have some digital component is continually decreasing.

What is an advanced persistent threat (APT)? And 5 signs you've been hit with one

security threats and vulnerabilities
An advanced persistent threat (APT) is a cyberattack executed by criminals or nation-states with the intent to steal data or surveil systems over an extended time period. The attacker has a specific target and goal, and has spent time and resources to identify which vulnerabilities they can exploit to gain access, and to design an attack that will likely remain undetected for a long time. That attack often includes the use of custom malware. The motive for an APT can be either financial gain or political espionage. APTs were originally associated mainly with nation-state actors who wanted to steal government or industrial secrets. Cyber criminals now use APTs to steal data or intellectual property that they can sell or otherwise monetize. APT hackers and malware are more prevalent and sophisticated than ever. For some professional hackers, working either for their government or relevant industries, their full-time job is to hack specific companies and targets.

Why cloud computing suddenly seems so hard and expensive

Why cloud computing suddenly seems so hard and expensive
The core issue is that the expectations are the wrong ones. While cloud providers and even cloud experts have been selling cloud computing as an operational cost-savings technology, the reality is that the cloud can be more expensive due to cost of the talent needed, of migration, and of cloud operations. This “cloud isn’t so cheap after all” conclusion is the dirty little secret of Silicon Valley right now, backed by a decade’s worth of data. However, using the public cloud was never about ops savings—at least, it never should have been. The core value of the cloud is, and has always been, improved speed of change. Speed to change applications and data, as well as to build and remove core business systems. This speed benefit may have less value for companies that don’t change a great deal, but most companies live in markets that have frequent changes, so figuring out some way to keep up is a necessity for most, even if not quantified. In other words, building things that can change quickly is more important than just building things in today’s world.

Businesses still figuring out digital transformation have already lost

As businesses look to deliver rich, technology-driven individualised experiences, the report recommended that executives take into account the complexities around the technology consumers have access to. For instance, the direct availability of specific technologies, such as ubiquitous connectivity, cannot be taken for granted. The report stated: “Businesses need to understand consumers’ full technology context if they want to deliver rich, seamless experiences in the post-digital age – including the issues of access that affect consumer choice. This might mean making sure products work in multiple areas, all with different levels of technology access. Or it might mean serving more people in the same area by supporting many different digital ecosystems.” Accenture warned that the expanding choices of technology ecosystems and services would affect product strategy.

Your Next Move: Security operations center analyst

SOC analysts work alongside with cybersecurity engineers and security managers and most likely report to a chief information security officer (CISO). A SOC analyst must have a steady and unshakable eye for detail, as they have to monitor many things at once. They must watch and respond to a number of threats, and there may be different levels of responsibilities depending on how big the company is and how many SOC analyst’s it employs. From monitoring to reacting, a SOC analyst’s day is rarely the same from one to the next. Most companies hiring a SOC analyst are looking for someone with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, cybersecurity or a related field. Many SOC analysts previously worked as network or systems administrators. A certification like CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) can help you gain the skills you need to become a SOC analyst. Check out the CompTIA Career Roadmap to see what other certifications relate to cybersecurity jobs.

The Artificial Intelligence Gap Between Megabanks, Community Banks And Credit Unions

Experts believe that implementing AI technologies could save the banking industry as much as $1 trillion in revenue by 2030.” Really? How do you “save” revenue? Did they mean “increase” revenue? Or is there a trillion in dollars in potentially lost revenue that will be automagically saved by AI (and, if so, how exactly is that going to happen)? The problem with forecasts like these is that they ignore the laws of supply and demand. Do you really believe that consumers want to spend an additional $1 trillion on financial services? Practically every conference speaker I hear says consumers already spend a ton of money on banking services and that they should be paying less, not more. Nowhere in these outlandish forecasts of huge revenue increases is there any explanation of how AI will increase the demand for financial services. According to Cornerstone’s What’s Going in Banking 2019 study, just 2% of mid-size financial institutions have already deployed chatbots, machine learning, or other AI technologies, and 5% have implemented robotic process automation (RPA).

Quote for the day:

"When you practice leadership,The evidence of quality of your leadership, is known from the type of leaders that emerge out of your leadership" -- Sujit Lalwani

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