Daily Tech Digest - May 03, 2022

5 Elements of High-Quality Software

The software architecture initially puts a foundation for a software project and lets programmers work on the particular project for many years. The entire software system’s lifetime, maintainability, and market success depend on this foundation. Late architectural changes are usually time-consuming and costly for any software development team. In other words, it’s literally impossible to change the foundation once a house is built on top of it. Therefore, we always need to strive to select the optimal architectural pattern with the first implementation attempt. It’s indeed better to spend more time on early architectural decisions rather than spending your time fixing the side-effects of instant non-optimal architectural decisions. First, work on the software system’s core functionality and stabilize — at this stage, architectural changes are not much time-consuming. Next, work on features by using the software core’s functionality. Even though you use a monolithic pattern, you can detach the core logic from features at the source-code level — not from the architectural level.

SSE kicks the ‘A’ out of SASE

Now comes security service edge (SSE), which pulls back the security functions in SASE into a unified services offering that includes CASB, zero-trust network architecture (ZTNA) and secure web gateway (SWG). SSE came in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with most employees being sent home to work and putting in motion the ongoing trend toward hybrid work. With many people working from home at least part of the time, the role of branch offices is lessened and the need for security features that follow workers where they are – with work days starting from home and then moving to offices or other locations – is growing. What the role of SSE is in the larger network security space is and what it means for the future of SASE are the subjects of some debate in the industry. However, it puts a spotlight on the ongoing evolution of networking as the definition of work continues to change and the focus of IT shifts from the traditional central data center data and workloads in the cloud and at the edge. Once the pandemic hit, "it was no longer about branch offices," said John Spiegel, director of strategy at Axis Security, which in April launched Atmos, its SSE platform.

What Is Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)?

To begin, the idea behind the entire zero trust network access starts with the assumption that cybersecurity attacks can be a result of who is internal and who is external to the network. A traditional IT network trusts pretty much everything while a zero trust architecture network literally means “trust no one” including systems, users, software, and machines. Zero trust network access verifies a user’s identity and privileges and forces both users and devices to be continuously monitored and re-verified to maintain access. For example, let’s say that you log in to your bank account via a mobile device or even your laptop computer. Once you check your balance, you open a new tab to continue something else outside of the bank account screen. After a while, that tab will produce a pop-up with a timeout warning asking if you want to continue or log out. If you don’t reply in time, it will automatically log you out of the screen and you will be forced to log back in if you want to access your bank account details again.

Determining “nonnegotiables” in the new hybrid era of work

Skill development is another function that takes place at the group level. So, in the hybrid era, it’s also important to avoid losing those opportunities. As Degreed’s Chief Learning and Talent Officer Kelly Palmer wrote for the World Economic Forum, it’s helpful to use hybrid employees’ time at the office for “collaborative projects in which their new skills can be put to work,” while “fully remote companies can organize virtual collaborations.” Prioritizing development on both the individual and team levels is also a nonnegotiable because of the challenges presented to organizations by skill gaps. “Half of all employees around the world will need reskilling by 2025—and that number does not include all the people who are currently not in employment,” PwC Global Chairman Robert E. Moritz and World Economic Forum Managing Director Saadia Zahidi wrote in the 2021 report Upskilling for Shared Prosperity.

Things that will remain in the inkwell in the new European regulation of artificial intelligence

The European Union took a step forward and a year ago presented a proposal for a pioneering regulation in the world, which divides AI technologies into four categories based on the risk they may pose to citizens. But some experts point out that there are complex applications that, in their current wording, could be left out of regulation. Health, autonomous cars and weapons, among others. The EU debates the last fringes of the regulations on AI, which could be ready in 2023. A regulation that is “unique in the world” due to its characteristics, although it leaves important aspects in the shadows, says Lucía Ortiz de Zárate, Researcher in Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence at the Autonomous University of Madrid. Ortiz de Zárate has submitted, together with the Fundación Alternativas, comments on the Commission’s proposal. ... This researcher misses the fact that there are sensitive sectors that are not included in the most closely watched artificial intelligence classifications, as is the case of health. 

How To Re-Architect Four Business Components With Digital Transformation

Going paperless and modernizing IT won't drive digital transformation on their own. On the contrary, true digital transformations encompass reevaluating current business processes and re-architecting them from the ground up to effectuate radical change. The key to successful digital transformation is to establish and seamlessly intertwine four core pillars: technology and infrastructure, business processes and models, customer experience and organizational culture. In my experience as an entrepreneur operating a digital transformation agency, high-performing organizations and digital leaders are able to continuously re-evaluate their core, identify weaknesses and opportunities and guide their teams through the ongoing transformation of all four pillars simultaneously to achieve defined goals. Whether it's an implementation of AI-driven analytics or a new customer portal, all components of the four pillars need to be considered and transformed in unison to achieve transformation goals and deliver tangible results. Initiatives that touch only the technology or infrastructure may drive improvement, but they're rarely transformative.

Deep Dive: Protecting Against Container Threats in the Cloud

Container technology, like other types of infrastructure, can be compromised in a number of different ways – however, misconfiguration reigns atop the initial-access leaderboard. According to a recent Gartner analysis, through 2025, more than 99 percent of cloud breaches will have a root cause of customer misconfigurations or mistakes. “Containers are often deployed in sets and in very dynamic environments,” Nunnikhoven explained. “The misconfiguration of access, networking and other settings can lead to an opportunity for cybercriminals.” Trevor Morgan, product manager at comforte AG, noted that companies, especially smaller companies, are generally using default configuration settings vs. more sophisticated and granular configuration capabilities: “Basic misconfigurations or accepting default settings that are far less secure than customized settings.” That can lead to big (and expensive) problems. For instance, last June the “Siloscape” malware was discovered, which is the first known malware to target Windows containers. It breaks out of Kubernetes clusters to plant backdoors, raid nodes for credentials or even hijack an entire database hosted in a cluster. ...”

DAOs: A blockchain-based replacement for traditional crowdfunding

Digital crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe, Patreon and Kickstarter have enjoyed massive patronage over the past 10 years. This growth can be attributed primarily to the nature of crowdfunding which is set up with minimal risk. This risk is spread across all contributors of a particular idea or startup. Start-ups with financial needs will find that getting funding from traditional institutions is no easy feat. These institutions take on quite a lot of the risk involved in financing business ideas that could end badly. With a global economy still reeling from the pandemic, the accessibility and much less bureaucratic nature of DAOs as a tool for crowdfunding have been a primal factor in its growth. Digitalized crowdfunding in the form of DAOs has eliminated some traditional limits of the financing form. The simplicity makes it a disruptive force to traditional crowdfunding methods. Emmet Halm dropped out of Harvard to found DAOHQ. DAOHQ bills itself as the first marketplace for DAOs where users can find information about any DAO. 

A regular person’s guide to the mind-blowing world of hybrid quantum computing

Quantum computers allow us to harness the power of entanglement. Instead of waiting for one command to execute, as binary computers do, quantum computers can come to all of their conclusions at once. In essence, they’re able to come up with (nearly) all the possible answers at the same time. The main benefit to this is time. A simulation or optimization task that might take a supercomputer a month to process could be completed in mere seconds on a quantum computer. The most commonly cited example of this is drug discovery. In order to create new drugs, scientists have to study their chemical interactions. It’s a lot like looking for a needle in a never-ending field of haystacks. There are near-infinite possible chemical combinations in the universe, sorting out their individual combined chemical reactions is a task no supercomputer can do within a useful amount of time. Quantum computing promises to accelerate these kinds of tasks and make previously impossible computations commonplace. But it takes more than just expensive, cutting-edge hardware to produce these ultra-fast outputs.

Go Language Riding High with Devs, But Has a Few Challenges

Among the most significant technical barriers to increased Go language adoption are missing features and lack of ecosystem/library support. “We asked for more details on what features or libraries respondents were missing and found that generics was the most common critical missing feature — we expect this to be a less significant barrier after the introduction of generics in Go 1.18,” wrote Alice Merrick, a user experience researcher at Google, in a post on the Go Blog discussing the 2021 survey. “The next most common missing features had to do with Go’s type system.” The Go community added generics to the Go language in release 1.18 of the language. Release 1.18, delivered last month, provides new features to enhance security and developer productivity, and improve the performance of Go. Steve Francia, Google Cloud’s Product & Strategic Lead for Go, called the new update “monumental” and said generics was the most sought-after feature by developers. “With generics, this specific feature has been the most sought-after feature in go for the last 10 years,” Francia said.

Quote for the day:

"It takes an influential leader to excellently raise up leaders of influence." -- Anyaele Sam Chiyson

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