Daily Tech Digest - December 04, 2021

Universal Stablecoins, the End of Cash and CBDCs: 5 Predictions for the Future of Money

Many of the features that decentralized finance, or DeFi, brings to the table will be copied by regular finance in the future. For instance, there’s no reason that regular finance can’t copy the automaticity and programmability that DeFi offers, without bothering with the blockchain part. Even as regular finance copies the useful bits from DeFi, DeFi will emulate regular finance by pulling itself into the same regulatory framework. That is, DeFi tools will become compliant with anti-money laundering/know your customer (AML/KYC) rules, Securities and Exchange Commission-registered or licensed with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). And not necessarily because they are forced to do so. (It’s hard to force a truly decentralized protocol to do anything.) Tools will comply voluntarily. Most of the world’s capital is licit capital. Licit capital wants to be on regulated venues, not illegal ones. To capture this capital, DeFi has no choice but to get compliant. The upshot is that over time DeFi and traditional finance (TradFi) will blur together. 

10 Rules for Better Cloud Security

Security in the cloud is following a pattern known as the shared responsibility model, which states that the provider is only responsible for security ‘of’ the cloud, while customers are responsible for security ‘in’ the cloud. This essentially means that to operate in the cloud, you still need to take your share of work for secure configuration and management. The scope of your commitment can vary widely because it depends on the services you are using: if you’ve subscribed to an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) product, you are responsible for OS patches and updates. If you only require object storage, your responsibility scope will be limited to data loss prevention. Despite this great diversity, there are some guidelines that apply no matter what your situation is. And the reason for this is simply because all the cloud vulnerabilities are essentially reduced to one thing: misconfigurations. Cloud providers have put at your disposal powerful security tools, yet we know that they will fail at some point. People make mistakes, and misconfigurations are easy. 

Unit testing vs integration testing

Tests need to run to be effective. One of the great advantages of automated tests is that they can run unattended. Automating tests in CI/CD pipelines is considered a best practice, if not mandatory according to most DevOps principles. There are multiple stages when the system can and should trigger tests. First, tests should run when someone pushes code to one of the main branches. This situation may be part of a pull request. In any case, you need to protect the actual merging of code into main branches to make sure that all tests pass before code is merged. Set up CD tooling so code changes deploy only when all tests have passed. This setup can apply to any environment or just to the production environment. This failsafe is crucial to avoid shipping quick fixes for issues without properly checking for side effects. While the additional check may slow you down a bit, it is usually worth the extra time. You may also want to run tests periodically against resources in production, or some other environment. This practice lets you know that everything is still up and running. Service monitoring is even more important to guard your production environment against unwanted disruptions.

Vulnerability Management | A Complete Guide and Best Practices

Managing vulnerabilities helps organizations avoid unauthorized access, illicit credential usage, and data breaches. This ongoing process starts with a vulnerability assessment. A vulnerability assessment identifies, classifies, and prioritizes flaws in an organization's digital assets, network infrastructure, and technology systems. Assessments are typically recurring and rely on scanners to identify vulnerabilities. Vulnerability scanners look for security weaknesses in an organization's network and systems. Vulnerability scanning can also identify issues such as system misconfigurations, improper file sharing, and outdated software. Most organizations first use vulnerability scanners to capture known flaws. Then, for more comprehensive vulnerability discovery, they use ethical hackers to find new, often high-risk or critical vulnerabilities. Organizations have access to several vulnerability management tools to help look for security gaps in their systems and networks.

How Web 3.0 is Going to Impact the Digital World?

The concept of a trustless network is not new. The exclusion of any so-called “trusted” third parties from any sort of virtual transactions or interactions has long been an in-demand ideology. Considering how data theft is a prominent concern among internet users worldwide, trusting third parties with our data doesn’t seem right. Trustless networks ensure that no intermediaries interfere in any online transactions or interactions. A close example of truthfulness is the uber-popular blockchain technology. Blockchain is mostly used in transactions involving cryptocurrencies. It defines a protocol as per which only the individuals participating in a transaction are connected in a peer-to-peer manner. No intermediary is involved. Social media enjoys immense popularity today. And understandably so, for it allows us to connect and interact with known ones and strangers sans any geographical limits. But firms that own social media platforms are few. And these few firms hold the information of millions of people. Sounds scary right? 

Is TypeScript the New JavaScript?

As a static language, TypeScript performs type checks upon compilation, flagging type errors and helping developers spot mistakes early on in development. Reducing errors when working with large codebases can save hours of development time. Clear and readable code is easy to maintain, even for newly onboarded developers. Because TypeScript calls for assigning types, the code instantly becomes easier to work with and understand. In essence, TypeScript code is self-documenting, allowing distributed teams to work much more efficiently. Teams don’t have to spend inordinate amounts of time familiarizing themselves with a project. TypeScript’s integration with editors also makes it much easier to validate the code thanks to context-aware suggestions. TypeScript can determine what methods and properties can be assigned to specific objects, and these suggestions tend to increase developer productivity. TypeScript is widely used to automate the deployment of infrastructure and CI/CD pipelines for backend and web applications. Moreover, the client part and the backend can be written in the same language—TypeScript.

4 signs you’re experiencing burnout, according to a cognitive scientist

One key sign of burnout is that you don’t have motivation to get any work done. You might not even have the motivation to want to come to work at all. Instead, you dread the thought of the work you have to do. You find yourself hating both the specific tasks you have to do at work, as well as the mission of the organization you’re working for. You just can’t generate enthusiasm about work at all. A second symptom is a lack of resilience. Resilience is your ability to get over a setback and get yourself back on course. It’s natural for a failure, bad news, or criticism to make you feel down temporarily. But, if you find yourself sad or angry for a few days because of something that happened at work, your level of resilience is low. When you’re feeling burned out, you also tend to have bad interactions with your colleagues and coworkers. You find it hard to resist saying something negative or mean. You can’t hide your negative feelings about things or people that can upset others. In this way, your negative feelings about work become self-fulfilling, because they actually create more unpleasant situations.

Spotting a Modern Business Crisis — Before It Strikes

Modern technologies such as more-efficient supply chain operations, the internet, and social media have not only increased the pace of change in business but have also drawn more attention to its impact on society. Fifty years ago, oversight of companies was largely the domain of regulatory agencies and specialized consumer groups. What the public knew was largely defined by what businesses were required to disclose. Today, however, public perception of businesses is affected by a diverse range of stakeholders — consumers, activists, local or national governments, nongovernmental organizations, international agencies, and religious, cultural, or scientific groups, among others. ... There are a few ways businesses can identify risks. One, externalize expertise through insurance and consulting companies that identify sociopolitical or climate risks. Two, hire the right talent for risk assessment. Three, rely on government agencies, media, industry-specific institutions, or business leaders’ own experience of risk perception. A fail-safe approach is to use all three mechanisms in tandem, if possible.

Today’s Most Vital Question: What is the Value of Your Data?

Data has latent value; that is, data has potential value that has not yet realized. And the possession of data in of itself provides zero economic value, and in fact, the possession of data has associated storage, management, security, and backup costs and potential regulatory and compliance liabilities. ... Data must be “activated” or put into use in order to convert that latent (potential) value of data into kinetic (realized) value. The key is getting the key business stakeholders to envision where and how to apply data (and analytics) to create new sources of customer, product, service, and operational value. The good news is that most organizations are very clear as to where and how they create value. ... The value of the organization’s data is tied directly to its ability to support quantifiable business outcomes or Use Cases. ... Many data management and data governance projects stall out because organizations lack a business-centric methodology for determining which of their data sources are the most valuable. 

Federal watchdog warns security of US infrastructure 'in jeopardy' without action

The report was released in conjunction with a hearing on securing the nation’s infrastructure held by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Thursday. Nick Marinos, the director of Information Technology and Cybersecurity at GAO, raised concerns in his testimony that the U.S. is “constantly operating behind the eight ball” on addressing cyber threats. “The reality is that it just takes one successful cyberattack to take down an organization, and each federal agency, as well as owners and operators of critical infrastructure, have to protect themselves against countless numbers of attacks, and so in order to do that, we need our federal government to be operating in the most strategic way possible,” Marinos testified to the committee. According to the report, GAO has made over 3,700 recommendations related to cybersecurity at the federal level since 2010, and around 900 of those recommendations have not been addressed. Marinos noted that 50 of the unaddressed concerns are related to critical infrastructure cybersecurity.

Quote for the day:

"Self-control is a critical leadership skill. Leaders generally are able to plan and work at a task over a longer time span than those they lead." -- Gerald Faust

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