Daily Tech Digest - November 08, 2019

Three digital workplace challenges CIOs face

Three digital workplace challenges CIOs face image
Cybersecurity and information security are still making headlines, with everything from phishing scams to huge data breaches of customer or employee data. CIOs are under intense pressure to ensure they take every action to keep their organisation protected from these attacks. Many organisations, particularly in sectors where employees handle customer or personal data, are likely to have robust information security policies in place. For example, restricting data that contractors can access or giving permissions only to a group of designated people. However, enforcing this across the digital workplace is more challenging than it seems. ... A significant proportion of user behaviour comes through the use of unauthorised applications and devices for work purposes. Many organisations have a problem with shadow IT, although the extent of the problem and the degree of risk are always hard to measure. Shadow IT exposes companies to data breaches and falling out of GDPR rules.

Permission Vs Permissionless Blockchain Explained

A permissionless blockchain is as its name suggests, a blockchain where no permission is required to become part of this blockchain network and contribute to its upkeep. Anyone or anything can become part of a permissionless blockchain. Trading on the network doesn’t require permission, running a node on the network doesn’t require permission, setting yourself a miner doesn’t require permission. Basically, download the required software, set up your wallet, node or whatever components you need to serve your requirements and of you go. I other words a Permissionless Blockchain is a way of saying “public.” As anyone can join a permissionless blockchain, they tend to be described as decentralized in that no one company or permission is a central point in the network as say a Central bank would be in the fiat currency system. As you can imagine this feature of the Bitcoin network appeals to the parts of the Cryptocurrency community that doesn’t like or have faith in centralised control be that either by a state or any other part of the existing financial services industry.

The 7 Biggest Technology Trends To Disrupt Banking & Financial Services In 2020

The 7 Biggest Technology Trends To Disrupt Banking & Financial Services In 2020
Although banking and financial services tend to be slower to adopt new technologies, a PricewaterhouseCooper study confirms the majority of financial services decision-makers are investing in artificial intelligence (AI)—52 percent of executives confirmed they are making “substantial” investments in AI while 72 percent believe it will be a business advantage. One thing that will likely make the rest believe in artificial intelligence’s potential for the industry are the cost savings that are expected to be $447 billion by 2023. ... Blockchain can support banking in several ways. Bitcoin showed how it can be used for payments, but it can also be transformative in the way our capital markets work by tokenizing traditional bonds, stocks, and other assets and putting them on public blockchains. Blockchains would remove the gatekeepers and third parties in the loans and credit system while also making it more secure to borrow money and lowering interest rates. Blockchain could also eliminate manual data reconciliation for bank ledgers. The way information and money are exchanged today will be altered by smart contracts that operate from blockchain technology.

Helium activates wireless network for IoT devices in more than 425 US cities

Through Helium's open-source Software Development Kit, developers can build devices that connect to the network without needing a cellular plan. A number of hardware developers have already created small, low-power devices that communicate over several miles using the company's LongFi technology. Prototypes developed for the Helium network include InvisiLeash's location tracking dog collar, CleanWater AI's remote, low-power pollution monitor, and Bike Route Data Gatherer's bike and scooter tracker. Using cellular for such low-power IoT devices as pet trackers and water quality sensors would be impractical due to power and cost limitations. However, through its peer-to-peer network, Helium can provide the necessary connectivity throughout a city, even reaching into remote areas. Based on initial testing, only about 50 to 100 hotspots are needed to provide complete coverage for an entire city, according to the company. Due to the interest in Helium, the company also announced an expansion of its Patron program across the country. This program offers discounts, priority shipping, network tools, Helium support, and other benefits to those who buy 15 or more hotspots.

Ex-Twitter Employees Spied on Saudi Dissidents: DoJ

twitter spies saudi arabia
The two accessed various account information, including user emails, phone numbers, IP address information, the types of devices used, user-provided biography information, logs that contained the user’s browser info and logs of all particular user’s actions on twitter platform at any time. This information could be used to identify and locate the Twitter users who published these posts, according to the DoJ. It’s not clear whether the two started working at the company with the alleged intent of accessing the data; or whether they were eventually convinced during their employment at Twitter. Abouammo was allegedly compensated for his illicit conduct, including with a luxury watch and $100,000 in cash. “We would like to thank the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice for their support with this investigation,” a Twitter spokesperson told Threatpost. “We recognize the lengths bad actors will go to try and undermine our service. Our company limits access to sensitive account information to a limited group of trained and vetted employees.”

Defenders can discover phishing sites through web analytics IDs

Detecting phishing attempts  >  A magnifying lens spots a hook trying to catch a fish.
Akamai provided two examples where the use of web analytics UIDs on phishing pages allowed its researchers to identify much larger campaigns. One was a campaign that targeted LinkedIn users and used many misleading domains that all shared the same Google Analytics UID, which was probably added by the phishing kit’s creator. The second was a campaign targeting AirBnB users that used subdomains on 000webhostapp.com, a legitimate site hosting service. The second campaign used the original AirBnB web analytics UID, which allowed the malicious subdomains to be easily identified. “Enterprise security teams can track their own analytic UIDs that are being used in the wild as the result of their website content being copied for building phishing website,” Akamai Security Researcher Tomer Shlomo tells CSO via email. “Security researchers and security vendors will use phishing Toolkit UIDs which will give them the ability to track other phishing websites and the ability to assess the scale of the campaign or find other phishing activities deployed by the same threat actor."

Brazilian government announces creation of AI lab network

The Brazilian government has already put the wheels in motion to get the building blocks ready to fully exploit AI in the public sector. For example, it has announced the creation of a single citizen database in October, which will contain a wide range of personal information about the country's population of over 200 million people, to be fully shared across departments. "What has made a difference throughout history is the ability to work in teams; the ability to reason, plan and think about the future; and our ability to create tools to solve problems and improve quality of life, " Pontes said during his speech. "We have created magnificent things, we have gone through many transformations - machines, engines, electricity, electronics, computers, airplanes - and we have reached a point now that is very special, which is digital transformation," he added. "We now have [technology] that aids the creation of other tools that help us plan and work in teams." The announcement of the AI lab network follows the creation of a partnership between IBM and the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) to launch a major AI research center in São Paulo next year.

5G brings up questions of cybersecurity vulnerabilities

"For all of the opportunities that 5G will unlock, it will also create new challenges," Pai said. "When 5G is embedded in almost every aspect of our society and economy, from businesses to homes, hospitals to transportation networks, manufacturing to the electrical grid, that means securing our networks will become much more important, and much more difficult." The next-generation technology is expected to bring a wave of innovations, with enhanced internet speeds pushing advances in self-driving cars and virtual reality, along with letting you download movies and TV shows faster than ever. 5G networks are not widespread yet, and experts are hoping to address the security issues before they are. Security researchers have found, for instance, that 5G networks are still vulnerable to International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) catchers, commonly known as "Stingrays." These surveillance devices impersonate cell towers and intercept network signals from devices, allowing attackers to gather information like location data and call details from people.  

Apollo Foundation Agrees Partnership With Lesotho On Blockchain Development

Despite the immense potentials of the technology, Africa as a continent has been lagging behind recording the lowest engagement of blockchain technology. Lesotho is looking to bridge the gap and views the partnership with Apollo as one that can change the level of blockchain developments in the country. According to the terms of the partnership, Apollo will help the Lesotho government to create new wealth opportunities via its fintech solutions, create and implement blockchain systems for the government, reduce financial crime and help maximize the commercial opportunities of the nations natural resources. Speaking on the partnership, Steve McCullah the director of business development for Apollo Foundation revealed that Lesotho has taken a good stride towards blockchain technology. “Lesotho is working to become a leader in technology,”. He also assured the Lesotho government that Apollo can deliver on the terms of the MOU. “We are confident Apollo can help accomplish this mission.

Optics for the cloud: storage in the zettabyte era with Dr. Ant Rowstron and Mark Russinovich

Just in the landscape of what cloud was and what it is now, it’s been a fascinating journey because when I started in Azure in 2010, Azure had been underway for a few years, just commercially launched, but Azure was tiny. Basically, in two datacenters, a few thousand servers. And the number of companies that were saying they were going to do cloud was probably twenty, twenty-five companies. And about four years ago, there were still about seventeen. Three years ago, we were down to thirteen. ... And there’s still six in what Gartner classifies as their “magic quadrant” for an infrastructure as a service. And I think there’ll be more paring down to come and Azure has been continuously in this strong position rising, rising and a couple of years ago, the market and analysts started to recognize us as the strong number two in this space. ... If you think of most of the technologies we use to store data today – things like flash, things like hard disk drives, things like tape – it’s true to say that they were all designed before the cloud existed. And in fact, they were all designed to work in multiple scenarios.

Quote for the day:

"One must be convinced to convince, to have enthusiasm to stimulate the others." -- Stefan Zweig

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