Daily Tech Digest - February 19, 2021

Data lake storage: Cloud vs on-premise data lakes

The data lake is conceived of as the first place an organisation’s data flows to. It is the repository for all data collected from the organisation’s operations, where it will reside in a more or less raw format. Perhaps there will be some metadata tagging to facilitate searches of data elements, but it is intended that access to data in the data lake will be by specialists such as data scientists and those that develop touchpoints downstream of the lake. Downstream is appropriate because the data lake is seen, like a real lake, as something into which all data sources flow, and they are potentially, many, varied and unprocessed. From the lake, data would go downstream to the data warehouse, which is taken to imply something more processed, packaged and ready for consumption. While the data lake contains multiple stores of data, in formats not easily accessible or readable by the vast majority of employees – unstructured, semi-structured and structured – the data warehouse is made up of structured data in databases to which applications and employees are afforded access. A data mart or hub may allow for data that is even more easily consumed by departments. So, a data lake holds large quantities of data in its original form. Unlike queries to the data warehouse or mart, to interrogate the data lake requires a schema-on-read approach.

Microsoft Azure Front Door Gets a Security Upgrade

Johnson uses three principles to describe zero trust, the first of which involves adopting explicit verification for every transaction during a session: "So not just verifying the human, but the device, the data, the location, if it's an IoT device, the application – everything that happens in the session should be verified and anomalous behavior should be flagged," she explains. The second principle is ensuring least privilege access. Many organizations still provide too much privileged access to employees, Johnson says. One of the steps Microsoft is taking with its content and application delivery is implementing more controls around access. The third principle: "Then, finally, assume you've been breached," she says. Assumed breach is a topic the security industry has discussed for years, but with zero trust, they have to assume they have been breached, and that anything within the organization could potentially be breached. These principles have grown essential as application-delivery networks undergo a massive transformation to the cloud, Johnson explains. The new capabilities in Azure Front Door aim to provide organizations with one platform that meets availability, scalability, and security needs.

Tools And Models Used In Software Testing

Software testing is a significant part of software quality assurance (SQA), it is an activity used for evaluating and improving software quality. It involves a set of activities carried out with the sole aim of finding errors in software. It validates and verifies if the software or product is functioning correctly without any errors or bugs capable of incurring defects. In the testing phase, the errors from previous cycles must be detected, this ensures complete software reliability and quality assurance. With the development of software functionalities, it is essential to use innovative testing models and tools to ensure that time and cost spent on testing is thoroughly minimized. When it comes to testing the functionality of the software, there are two types; manual and automation. Manual testing is carried out by the tester. Informal review, inspection, walkthrough, and technical review are the techniques of manual testing. Manual testing is time-consuming and requires more effort, this is a major issue with this kind of testing. Test Automation helps to completely resolve and control these issues. Automated testing can be categorized into four; performance testing, safety testing, accuracy testing and testing of reliability. Using automation tools, steps involved in manual testing are being automated.

Combining Three Pillars Of Cybersecurity Security

As cybersecurity gaps abound, there has been a growing panic in both industry and government on how to protect the cyber landscape. In the past, three significant risk management themes have been put forward to help ameliorate the digital risk ecosystem including: security by design, defense in depth, and zero trust. They are a triad, or three strong pillars of risk management needed for a successful cybersecurity strategy. Security by Design is really the initiation point of a risk management process—especially if you are a software or hardware developer concerned with security. In an article in United States Cybersecurity magazine, cybersecurity expert Jeff Spivey provided an excellent working definition: “Security by Design ensures that security risk governance and management are monitored, managed and maintained on a continuous basis. The value of this “holistic” approach is that it ensures that new security risks are prioritized, ordered and addressed in a continual manner with continuous feedback and learning.” Defense in Depth. A variety of strong definitions exist for defense in depth in the security community. 

The Future of Team Leadership Is Multimodal

Effective leadership in this new hybrid world requires different skills that go beyond traditional team leadership. Specifically, organizations will need leaders who can operate well across two distinct modes. For much of the time, they will operate in virtual coordination mode. This means establishing goals, monitoring progress, driving information sharing, and sustaining connections among colleagues working remotely. When their teams periodically come together to engage in true collaboration, leaders will need to operate in face-to-face collaboration mode, fostering deep learning, innovation, acculturation, and dedication. The nature and mix of team tasks will dictate the modes in which those teams operate. Tasks that involve working interdependently but without much integration — reporting, performing administrative tasks, making simple decisions, sharing information, drafting documents, and performing financial analyses — will mostly be done virtually. Likewise, our research and experience have shown that most one-on-one interactions between leaders and their reports, including some coaching, can be accomplished effectively through virtual means However, essential tasks that require team members to integrate their knowledge, create safe spaces for dialogue on difficult issues, and form emotional connections cannot be done productively while working virtually.

Unstructured data: the hidden threat in digital business

With the growth of unstructured data comes the unfortunate truth that it’s much more difficult to control and secure than structured data. For example, if an employee is taking information in the form of unstructured data and moving it elsewhere, they may store the original document or picture on a local file share or send it in an email as an attachment. Within one organization, the process for handling documents could vary across employees and teams, and it’s very likely that management has no idea this is happening. Unstructured data doesn’t have to be a forever risk, though. It’s entirely possible for organizations to manage and incorporate it into safe data practices and protocols. For that to happen successfully, business leaders must do the following: First, acknowledge that unsecured unstructured data is a problem within the organization. Add it as an urgent priority for the IT or data security teams to address. Don’t wait until an issue arises or assume that hackers are going to go after larger volumes of what one assumes is more “attractive” data. We’ve learned that hackers are unpredictable and that no organization, no matter the size or scope, is immune to the threat.

How You Can Expedite Your Venture With Machine Learning

With machine learning tools, organizations can figure out gainful opportunities as well as possible risks more promptly. ML aids companies in improving business scalability and enhancing business operations. The rapidly evolving new techniques in the ML field are expanding the usage of machine learning to nearly infinite possibilities. The article focuses on how you can expedite your business growth with the use of machine learning, and here are the key points: Prediction of the market segment: When businesses are entering into the market with a new idea, it is very important to understand and forecast the reactions of the market. If you go with human intelligence for a logical prediction, it would be a huge task to consider all the applicable parameters from a large set of historical data. However, if you make use of the correct classification algorithm(s), you can predict the response from the prospective market segment if it is good, bad, or neutral. Besides, you can use continuous or regression algorithms to predict the size or range. Prediction of customer lifetime value: For marketers, it is quite important to know about the customer lifetime value prediction and customer segmentation. For this, companies use huge amounts of data effectively with the help of ML and data mining to obtain meaningful business insights. 

Manufacturing outlook for 2021 focuses on resilience

The prime driver for the acceleration is the drive to implement e-commerce platforms either for B2B or direct-to-consumer commerce, Yavar said. "Manufacturers are all chasing the KPI thresholds around quality and on-time delivery that Amazon set, so everybody's trying to get as close as possible to that two-day or one-day service," he said. "That's not easily done, so they're scrambling to understand how deploying technology like robotics can speed up the process and strategically align distribution functions, whether it's in-house or external, to cut costs." The increasing importance of the supply chain as a vital business process will spur innovation and bring new players into the market, Yavar explained. "It's akin to the ERP market of the 1990s and early 2000s where there was the traditional 'Big 5,' but then we saw the explosion of players with the advent of cloud. The same thing's happening in the supply chain technology space today," he said. "The barrier to entry to produce the technology and get in the marketplace is much lower than it used to be, so this market will become more and more dynamic over time, there will be consolidation, and new technology and the supply chain will be seen not as a cost center but a differentiator for manufacturers over the next several years."

CIOs Face Decisions on Remote Work for Post-Pandemic Future

The evolution of the global remote work force had its share of growing pains, says Cortney Thompson, CIO with cloud solutions and managed services provider Lunavi. Early on, opportunistic vendors made quick pushes to offer services to companies in dire need to go remote, but he says some stumbled along the way. “A few of those vendors had scaling problems as they brought additional load on,” Thompson says. That made it important to listen to the experiences companies were having with those vendors, he says, and how their performance changed in response. Naturally if organizations did not see the results they wanted, they looked to branch out to other providers in the market, Thompson says. While some vendors took a conservative approach in taking on clients at the onset of the pandemic, he says others focused on grabbing as much of the market as possible without such restraint. In some instances, things broke under pressure, Thompson says. “There were some supply chain issues along the way and there was stress on the system and cracks started to show.” Innovations that found their footing during the pandemic include the zero-trust approach to security, he says, with higher adoption rates. 

Data Security Accountability in an Age of Regular Breaches

When it comes to information security, cyber hygiene is remarkably analogous to biological hygiene. Much like the immune system within an organism, poor digital security hygiene can result in an infection (security incident) progressing into a full-blown compromise (data breach). The expectation is that the breached organization will take active measures to mitigate the effects of the data breach, and it ends there. However, this is not enough. Much like taking precautions against spreading the COVID-19 infection, individuals must play their part in reducing their own levels of digital security contagion. Following any discovered infection resulting from a breach (digital or biological), the best process is to engage in measures to quarantine yourself to reduce the exposure of others. One of the most basic digital hygiene methods simply relies upon the user deploying complex and unique passwords for each service they utilize. While this would be the first port of call when a data breach is discovered, the fact is such a practice is rarely followed, and further explains many of the breaches we've experienced to date. To address this, the general public's attitude toward passwords needs to evolve to that of phone numbers.

Quote for the day:

"Leadership offers an opportunity to make a difference in someone's life, no matter what the project." -- Bill Owens

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