Daily Tech Digest - July 07, 2019

Anti-fraud analytics must be about prevention, not detection

The real challenge for businesses, he said, is not just building the biggest analytics platform possible – but embedding those analytics into operational processes, helping prevent fraud and cybercrime rather than detecting it after the fact. It’s a big difference that can make all the difference for financial-services institutions that have been pummelled by data breaches and struggled to maintain consumer confidence in their fraud and data-privacy protections. A recent Unisys survey found that Australians are by far the least trusting of their banks’ data protections – a perception that is hardly helped by incidents such as the recent exploitation of the Westpac PayID payment service. Indeed, true to expectations, the increasing pace of financial-services transactions – for example, through Australia’s New Payments Platform (NPP), on which PayID was built – had had a flow-on effect in terms of the fraud it facilitates. This trend towards real-time transactions, Henderson said, has ratcheted up the urgency for every company to understand the vulnerabilities in their payments processes and intelligently apply targeted machine learning-driven analytics to prevent fraud – not just detect it after the fact.

New Wearable Voice Recognition Sensor Cuts out Ambient Noise Interference

Shure SM58 Microphone Stage Close-Up Voice Recognition Wearable Sensors Cancel Noise Science Audio Research Sound Engineering
A pair of researchers from Pohang University of Science & Technology came up with a technology that’s superior to current voice recognition options, and it could lead to more accuracy even when people use voice recognition in potentially noisy areas, like train stations or shopping malls. If a person puts their hand against their throat while speaking, it’s easy to feel the vibrations associated with the voice. The researchers took that into account while developing their voice recognition sensor. It’s a wearable device that recognizes a person’s voice according to how their neck skin vibrates. That approach means things like ambient noise or the volume of a person’s speech do not risk making it harder to decipher. The scientists determined sound pressure is proportional to the acceleration of the neck skin’s vibration at certain sound levels, and that they could use that knowledge to create a sensor that qualitatively measured the voice. They made a device comprised of a slim polymer film, plus a diaphragm featuring tiny holes.

It was a really bad month for the internet

internet heartbeat
On June 24, Cloudflare dropped 15% of its global traffic during an hours-long outage because of a network route leak. The networking giant quickly blamed Verizon (TechCrunch’s parent company) for the fustercluck. Because of inherent flaws in the border gateway protocol — which manages how internet traffic is routed on the internet — Verizon effectively routed an “entire freeway down a neighborhood street,” said Cloudflare in its post-mortem blog post. “This should never have happened because Verizon should never have forwarded those routes to the rest of the Internet.” Amazon, Linode and other major companies reliant on Cloudflare’s infrastructure also ground to a halt. A week later, on July 2, Cloudflare was hit by a second outage — this time caused by an internal code push that went badly. In a blog post, Cloudflare’s chief technology officer John Graham-Cumming blamed the half-hour outage on a rogue bit of “regex” code in its web firewall, designed to prevent its customer sites from getting hit by JavaScript-based attacks.

How Is AI Driving Software Testing?

AI is also capable of test optimisation itself. This can help find which tests are most efficient and accurate, and reduces the production of redundant test cases. Software testing can be an expensive process, so ensuring the right tests are carried out is a key element, which can be speeded up with the help of artificial intelligence. Tests for the impact of changes on business via customers is also a key way that AI is being utilised. This will help identify any issues caused to the customer by updates and new releases, and allow quick changes before customers are driven away from the software or awaiting customer feedback. It can even be predicted ahead of a release as to whether customer satisfaction will go up or down with a new release of the software. This gives you the opportunity to fine tune software ahead of a new release, to ensure customers are retained. This may be how AI is shaping software testing right now, but there is plenty more to come. More complex methodology which tests interconnected tech, like the Internet of Things devices, will be transformed by AI, that will also factor in whether the end user believes that the result is correct.

Encryption laws are creating an exodus of data from Australia: Vault

"As multinational companies move physical, operational, and legal jurisdiction offshore, they easily side step the AA Act -- in effect thwarting the AA Act," Vault said. "Current legislation does not prevent these companies continuing to provide services to Australia citizens, companies or government. In effect, these companies are eluding the law and attaining revenue while every day Australian citizens are suffering the consequences." A submission by the Australian Civil Society Coalition -- consisting of Digital Rights Watch, Blueprint for Free Speech, Human Rights Law Centre, NSW Council for Civil Liberties, Queensland Council for Civil Liberties, Liberty Victoria, Access Now, Electronic Frontiers Australia, and Future Wise -- reiterated prior calls for the laws to be entirely repealed. The coalition called for an "enforceable federal human rights framework" to prevent Australia being the weakest link in the Five Eyes network, as well as for protection for whistleblowers in relation to the encryption laws, and the use of warrants and judicial content for notices issued.

Size Does Matter: Tackling SMB Cybersecurity Concerns

One of the main issues is businesses’ perception of cybersecurity. Many view the whole premise as a business drain: a tick-box exercise or time and money spent on something that’s difficult to show ROI. Cybersecurity was cited as just one consideration as businesses become more established and grow. SMB leaders say that their biggest priorities are attracting new customers (36%) and increasing business growth and profitability (29%). In fact, only 35% perceive cybersecurity as a significant threat. However, these cyber0threats prove to take up a significant amount of SMBs’ time: where leaders admit they spend almost a day per week (or 18% of their time) on cybersecurity-related tasks. Ultimately, customer relationships and contracts are on the line, but few businesses focus on effective cybersecurity education for employees. Rather than detracting from growth, cybersecurity investment can be viewed as a facilitator and differentiator for SMBs over the long term.

New digital banks challenge HSBC’s Hong Kong dominance

“We’re not ignoring the fact that we’ve got eight new competitors,” said Mr Martin, who noted the high calibre of the investors in the new virtual banks. “But our reaction is, we know what we need to do and we’re doing it already.” Some of HSBC’s established rivals have decided to launch their own digital lenders: StanChart has teamed up with Hong Kong Telecom and online travel agent Ctrip; Bank of China is working with the Jardine conglomerate and an offshoot of China’s JD.com ecommerce group. StanChart also generates a significant chunk of its profits from Hong Kong retail banking — making $740m of pre-tax profit in the business last year, or 30 per cent of the total for the bank. However, its customer base is dominated by older wealthy customers, meaning the virtual bank could pick up new customers without cannibalising too much of its existing business. Samir Subberwal, head of retail banking in China and Asia for StanChart, pointed out that its partners Ctrip and Hong Kong Telecom have about 5m customers to whom it can market the new venture.

Threat vs. Challenge

Think about it: threats are inherently a bad thing. They cause harm, provide little room for growth or learning, and rarely provide any opportunity or feedback beyond surviving through the ordeal. None of that helps you feel confident about preparing or allows you to look forward to the event. Instead, it fills you with a sense of dread, apprehension, and anxiety - none of which are facilitative emotions. So, what do we do about it and how can we get back to maximizing our impact? It comes down to the Performance Mindset skills of reframing and perspective. When you start to dive deeper, you realize the problem isn't the importance of the event; the problem is how you view the event. By reframing the way you view your upcoming event, you can start to see it as a challenge instead of a threat. What’s the difference between a threat and a challenge? Everything. Where a threat is inherently bad, challenges are usually viewed as good or fun. Where threats provide little room for growth or learning, challenges, by nature, drive growth.

The Important Difference Between Virtual Reality And Mixed Reality

The Important Difference Between Virtual Reality And Mixed Reality
Mixed reality is the latest immersive technology and as a result, there aren’t as many publicised use cases of it compared to virtual reality. However, in its latest iteration, HoloLens 2 is an untethered device that Microsoft hopes will have many business applications to help people across an organisation communicate, collaborate and learn together. Ford is using mixed reality technology for business purposes. Is uses the HoloLens to prototype vehicles in a virtual environment to skip over making prototypes in a physical environment which is the conventional production method.   Mixed reality takes a lot more processing power than either virtual or augmented reality and it relies on an MR headset that offers either a holographic experience through translucent glasses or an immersive experience. While less immersive than a virtual reality experience, mixed reality pulls from virtual and augmented realities to join virtual and real worlds to create an extremely believable and effective interaction. Users can interact with the objects thanks to either gesture/gaze/voice recognition technology through a headset or with a pair of motion controllers.

The Biggest Cybersecurity Crises Of  2019 So Far

One of the most concerning corporate data breaches so far this year is that of the American Medical Collection Agency, a massive healthcare-related debt collector. The company discovered that it had been breached in March, and filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission indicate that the intrusion on AMCA's systems lasted from August 2018 through March 2019. The incident was first publicly reported at the beginning of June after the medical testing firm LabCorp said that 7.7 million of its customers had data exposed because of AMCA, and Quest Diagnostics said it had had records from 12 million patients exposed. AMCA said that the compromised information included first and last names, dates of birth, phone numbers, addresses, dates of medical services, healthcare providers, and data on balances due. The stolen information did not include insurance ID numbers or Social Security numbers. Because AMCA contracted with so many companies, it's possible that additional organizations—and therefore other patients—were affected as well.

Quote for the day:

"It is one thing to rouse the passion of a people, and quite another to lead them." -- Ron Suskind

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