Daily Tech Digest - April 05, 2021

Encrypted method that measures encounters could slow down or prevent future pandemics

Current approaches for mitigating the spread of infectious disease in a population include exposure notification systems, also known as contact tracing, that rely on the pseudonyms. These systems are currently used on smartphones as a way to digitally track if a person comes into contact with someone who has contracted COVID-19. This can help health officials mitigate the spread of the disease by isolating individuals at risk of infecting others. But the benefit of this method that uses encounter IDs is its promotion of privacy. By labeling each encounter with a random number and not linking the encounter to the device the person is carrying, this makes it much harder for a cyber attacker to obtain that user’s identity. The target audience for this approach would be for a smaller population in a controlled setting like NIST‘s campus or nursing homes, said researcher Angela Robinson, also an author of the new paper. “We are advancing a different approach to contact tracing using encounter metrics.” Gathering these measurements of how individuals interact with one another can help with better understanding ways of modifying working environments, such as altering building layouts and establishing mobility rules, so as to slow the spread of disease.

Blockchain and taking the politics out of tech

One of the biggest problems and challenges in the world of crypto is how do you make sure that people who are transacting in crypto are not sending money to terrorists or not using crypto to engage in money laundering. And it’s a problem because the whole promise of crypto is to allow people to transact peer to peer without the need for a bank limit, right? So normally if you’re writing a check, it goes to the banking system and the bank looks to see who the payee is and figure out if they’re on some list or if you’re using cash there are these currency transaction reports you have to fill out. ... Blockchain identity verification is making probabilistic judgments based on a large amount of data. So, it may not know for sure that you’re not Vladimir Putin. But what it does know is that you’re a person who bought a latte at a Starbucks in Palo Alto yesterday of that you’re a person who has a Netflix subscription you’ve been paying on for 23 months And so when we make these probabilistic judgments, we can reduce to a statistical low rate the likelihood that you’re engaged in some kind of malfeasance.

Data lineage: What it is and why it’s important

Data lineage is comprised of methodologies and tools that expose data’s life cycle and help answer questions around who, when, where, why, and how data changes. It’s a discipline within metadata management and is often a featured capability of data catalogs that allow data consumers to understand the context of data they are utilizing for decision-making and other business purposes. One way to explain data lineage is that it’s the GPS of data that provides “turn-by-turn directions and a visual overview of the completely mapped route.” Others view data lineage as a core datagovops practice, where data lineage, testing, and sandboxes are data governance’s technical practices and automation opportunities. Capturing and understanding data lineage is important for several reasons: Compliance requirements: Many organizations must implement data lineage to stay on the good side of government regulators. Data lineage in risk management and reporting is required for capital market trading firms to support BCBS 239 and MiFID II regulations. For large banks, automating extracting lineage from source systems can save significant IT time and reduce risks. In pharmaceutical clinical trials, the ADaM standard requires traceability between analysis and source data.

7 Ways to Reduce Cyber Threats From Remote Workers

This hybrid work model comes with advantages and disadvantages — and among the disadvantages is a sharp rise in the number of cyber threats and vulnerabilities. When employees connect to organizational servers, databases, and intranets via the Internet, they are really working at a remote endpoint of the corporate office. But unlike in office-based environments, they are not as diligently protected. Therefore, CISOs need to view home-based devices as integral parts of IT and mandate that the devices, as well as the people using them, undergo the same level of security as they would when operating from the office. Like any other maturity improvement program, organizations must grapple with the challenges posed by their people (employees, third-party vendors, and so on), processes, and technology and implement the necessary security measures to protect them. ... To avoid breaches, employers need to implement employee training courses with a focus on the latest threat scenarios. Management, operations, and R&D are all prime targets of social engineering, phishing, and scamming campaigns (among other threats). 

How To Remove Ransomware From Android Phone Easily?

First, you will need to restart your phone in safe mode. Different Android phones have different ways in which this method takes place. Find out how to do it on your device. Once you have the right method, your screen will show that your phone is starting in safe mode. When your device is in safe mode, third-party apps are not running. This may or may not include the malware depending on how it is developed. Once your phone is running on safe mode, you can now check your installed apps. You can do this by going to Settings then to Apps. On the list of apps installed in your phone, look for apps that you don’t remember installing. When you find an app that looks suspicious, uninstall it from your phone. Depending on how you use your phone, you may have a long list of apps to go through. Make sure to get all the apps in the device and remove all that are suspicious or don’t use as often. After you are through with the uninstallation process, head to your phone security settings. Here, look for apps under the device administrators section. If you find any apps that are suspicious in this section, deny them the rights to be administrators on your phone and also uninstall them. They may have let the malware in.

The wholesale financial services firm of the future cannot survive without AI

Compliance is the first major front. Regulatory changes come into effect over the course of the next year which require forensic oversight of large amounts of documentation: a task that is too slow, error-prone and expensive to be completed manually. LIBOR, Basel IV and Dodd-Frank QFC recordkeeping requirements place more and more demands on financial services companies and many simply aren’t adequately prepared. ... The second area is market risk. The volatility of markets in the past year means that transparent oversight is critical. This is where AI comes into its own. AI technology can automate the processing and analysis of the documentation which underpins much of the financial system, from loan agreements to insurance policies. This means that work which would previously have entailed long hours can be accelerated, allowing for vastly improved efficiency and speed and, critically, much better oversight of the compliance requirements which regulators mandate. AI gives institutions the ability to remain vigilant and to keep abreast of risks with much more efficiency than ever before. With market conditions likely to remain volatile throughout 2021, fast, responsive and data-backed decisions aren’t only essential for each institution, they are critical for the health of the financial system as a whole.

Fake Unemployment Benefit Websites Preying On Laid-Off Workers, Experts Warn

You may want to take several additional steps to avoid these and other scams, says Sadler, whose company uses artificial intelligence to detect patterns in legitimate and potentially fraudulent emails and to automatically block potential threats. Besides considering an email security system at home or work, Sadler said, “It’s important for people to employ two-factor authentication and to not use the same password across different sites — those are two of the best steps you can take” for better online security. He also suggests getting a password manager, such as RoboForm, 1Password, Keeper, Norton, or a similar tool that can generate your passwords, distribute them across multiple sites, and protect them with encryption software to guard against hackers. Don’t automatically trust an email asking for private information even if the email address looks legitimate, he added. “People may be trained to look out for [bizarre requests],” Sadler said, “and they may be on alert if the email address is unfamiliar. But sometimes the email account itself is compromised, and the phishing email is using a falsified IP address... If you're unsure, you can verify the legitimacy of the sender by calling the organization directly.”

AI at Your Service

From a CX and EX optimization perspective, the point of an AI system is to increase automation efficiencies. If AI can resolve an issue while communicating in a humanlike manner, operations have been optimized effectively and that particular issue doesn’t need to be escalated to a live person and tap into limited resources. ... This also empowers the employees to refocus on more complex, rewarding tasks that require human attention. Let’s look at an example of how AI is utilized in the healthcare industry. A patient comes in with a skin problem. If it’s an anomaly, the doctor may have to do more research, run a series of tests, get a second opinion, etc. Compare that to an AI system, which can look at hundreds and thousands of cases of a similar skin condition and, in a nanosecond, give a diagnosis that’s 90% accurate. That’s a genuine interactive process between a human and an AI system. In addition to reducing costs and freeing up personnel for more business-critical tasks, AI can build brand loyalty for an organization. In Formation.ai’s study, Brand Loyalty 2020: The Need for Hyper-Individualization, 79% of consumers stated that the more personalized tactics a brand uses, the more loyal the customer is to the brand. In fact, 81% of consumers will share basic personal information in exchange for a more personalized customer experience.

What is a streaming database?

Some streaming databases are designed to dramatically reduce the size of the data to save storage costs. They can, say, replace a value collected every second with an average computed over a day. Storing only the average can make long-term tracking economically feasible. Streaming opens up some of the insides of a traditional database. Standard databases also track a stream of events, but they’re usually limited to changes in data records. The sequence of INSERTs, UPDATEs, and DELETEs are normally stored in a hidden journal or ledger inside. In most cases, the developers don’t have direct access to these streams. They’re only offered access to the tables that show the current values. Streaming databases open up this flow and makes it simpler for developers to adjust how the new data is integrated. Developers can adjust how the streams from new data are turned into tabular summaries, ensuring that the right values are computed and saved while the unneeded information is ignored. The opportunity to tune this stage of the data pipeline allows streaming databases to handle markedly larger datasets.

Why Data Democratization Should Be Your Guiding Principle for 2021

Data, and universal access to it, is key for today’s companies to create new opportunities and unlock the value embedded within their organization – all of which can positively impact a company’s top and bottom line. True data democratization pushes organizations to rethink and maybe even restructure, which often means driving a dramatic cultural change in order to realize financial gain. It also means freeing information from the silos created by internal departmental data, customer data, and external data, and turning it into a borderless ecosystem of information. The trouble is many companies aren’t that good at it. Our research last year initially suggested senior decision-makers were confident that they were opening up access to data sufficiently. However, when we scratched a little deeper, we found almost half (46%) of respondents believed that data democratization wasn’t feasible for them. IT infrastructure challenges were cited by almost four out of five respondents as a blocker to democratizing data in their organization. Performance limitations, infrastructure constraints, and bottlenecks are all standing in the way.

Quote for the day:

"Don't necessarily avoid sharp edges. Occasionally they are necessary to leadership." -- Donald Rumsfeld

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