Daily Tech Digest - October 17, 2022

Get ready for the metaverse

“The metaverse presents an opportunity to more fully transcend our physical limitations,” says Anand Srivatsa, CEO of Tobii. “Technologies like eye tracking will play a critical role in helping reduce the need for compute and networking power, which are required to deliver lifelike, immersive virtual environments. Eye tracking will also help users express their attention and intent in more realistic ways when they’re in the digital universe.” ... If human-digital devices enable the experience, and infrastructure supports metaverse-scale interactivity, then it’s how real the experience feels to users that will be the primary innovation and differentiator. To start, organizations will need strong dataops capabilities, and machine learning models will likely require synthetic data generation. Zuk continues, “Businesses looking to make waves in the metaverse usually begin by establishing a robust data pipeline—with synthetic data as the primary resource driving the development life cycle.” Bart Schouw, chief evangelist at Software AG, agrees.

Cybercriminals are having it easy with phishing-as-a-service

Phishing-as-a-service is a fairly new phenomenon, this trend is where the cybercriminal actually takes the role of a service provider, carrying out attacks for others instead of just for themselves in exchange for a sum of money. PaaS only serves to show how hackers are becoming better organized and looking for greater monetisation from ransomware. Instead of threat actors being required to have technical knowledge of building or taking over infrastructure to host a phishing kit (login page emulating known login interfaces like Facebook/Amazon/Netflix/OWA), the barrier to entry is significantly lowered with the introduction of PaaS. ... Phishing-as-a-service can be very advanced, with capabilities spanning from detecting sandbox environments, to fingerprinting user agents in order to determine whether you might be a researchers bot. That being said, Web Content Filters can often limit the exposure of users.

Top 5 Data Science Trends That Will Dominate 2023

Automation plays a significant role in transforming the world. It has stimulated various transformations in business, resulting in sustained proficiency. In the past few years, the best automation capabilities have been provided by the industrialisation of big data analytics. The process of Analytic Process Automation (APA) encourages growth by providing prescriptive and predictive abilities along with other insights to businesses. Through this, businesses have been able to receive excellence with efficient results and low costs. Analytic Process Automation mainly enhances computing power to make good right decisions. Data analytics automation can be considered a perfect disruptive force. Big data analysis helps substantially with stimulating valuable data usage and productivity. ... Data Governance handles data access all over the world. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance has various organizations and businesses that prioritize data governance and handles the data of consumers.

Code Red: the Business Impact of Code Quality

The main problem with technical debt is that code lacks visibility. Code is an abstract concept that isn’t accessible to all members of your organization. Hence, it’s easy to ignore technical debt even if we are aware of the general problem. Quantifying and visualizing the situation in your codebase is key, both for the engineering teams as well as for product and management. Visualisations are wonderful as they let us tap into the most powerful pattern detector that we have in the known universe: the human brain. I explored the concept at depth in Your Code as a Crime Scene, and founded CodeScene back in 2015 to make the techniques available to a general audience. ... With code health and hotspots covered, we have everything we need for taking it full circle. Without a quantifiable business impact, it’s hard to make the case for investing in technical debt paydowns. Any measures we use risk being dismissed as vanity metrics while the code continues to deteriorate. We don’t want that to happen.
Those at the cutting edge of ML are increasingly turning to synthetic data to circumvent the numerous constraints of original or real-world data. For instance, company Synthesis AI offers a cloud-based generation platform that delivers millions of perfectly labeled and diverse images of artificial people. Synthesis AI has been able to accomplish many challenges that come with the messy reality of original data. For a start, the company makes the data cheaper. ... The challenges of real-world data don’t end there. In some fields, huge historical bias pollutes data sets. This is how we end up with global tech behemoths running into hot water because their algorithms don’t recognize black faces properly. Even now, with ML technology experts acutely aware of the bias issue, it can be challenging to collate a real-world dataset entirely free of bias. Even if a real-world dataset can account for all of the above challenges, which in reality is hard to imagine, data models need to be improved and tweaked constantly to stay unbiased and avoid degradation over time. That means a constant need for fresh data.

Improve Developer Experience to Prevent Burnout

It’s obvious that a poor developer experience creates a negative impact throughout an entire company. If developers aren’t producing good work due to unhappiness, illness or burnout, it’s likely that organizations aren’t staying at the cutting edge or offering competitive products in the market. A demoralized team can have a really negative business impact, and it can even change the way that people outside the company feel about it. An unhappy team isn’t going to lead to much creativity or productivity. As a way to combat this growing trend, companies are looking left and right for solutions. Some companies are reaching for things like extra PTO days, a full month off, better benefits, pay raises, and more fun work culture or relaxed dress codes. Those things are nice to have, and we’re certainly not speaking ill of any organization trying something new to help their employees. But at the end of the day, if the overwork and unrealistic expectations remain, the developer burnout will remain too.

Top skill-building resources and advice for CISOs

Ultimately, the hiring organisations will define what it needs in terms of cybersecurity to find the right person. In finance and insurance, for example, there will be specific rules that must be followed in different countries and cybersecurity leaders in such organisations may even be liable. In telecommunications, the skills required are likely to be more technical, whereas in government knowledge around governance and risk are top of the list. “For instance, a smaller organisation which is a greenfield site, or a large multinational where there is already an established security function require different sets of skills and approaches,” Joseph Head, director technical security at Intaso tells CSO. “There are a few commonalities between all CISO roles, however: an understanding of risk and risk appetite — in other words, an understanding of the business, and how much risk it can carry. This dictates how much work a CISO must do, and therefore available budget. Unlocking that budget can only be done by communicating effectively.”

Startup promises SD-WAN service with MPLS reliability, less complexity

Graphiant says that what makes its service different from SD-WAN offerings is how its Stateless Graphiant Core handles WAN data and control planes. The company says many large enterprises have been unwilling to give up the SLAs that come with MPLS for mission-critical traffic. Thus, SD-WAN augments the MPLS network for lower-priority traffic, and the network team must manage two different networks. The operational and administrative overhead of the combined solution, along with the complexity of overlays, tunnels, and policy management means that many enterprises are turning back to MPLS providers that offer their own SD-WAN or that resell others’. That way, the enterprises can order to relieve the burden of managing a complicated managed service themselves. “Enterprise networks have transitioned from predictable topologies to unpredictable ones,” Raza says. He argues that cloud services, IoT, work from home, and a range of other pressures have pushed the MPLS-plus-SD-WAN formula to its breaking point.

High-trust workplace meets no-trust network security

Clearly, the traditional model for IT security is no longer fit for this newly-dispersed world of work and a fresh model is needed — one where the unit of control is identity and where identity is the basis of a system of authorisation and authentication for every device, service and user on your network. Welcome to zero trust, a system which works on the assumption that identity needs to be authenticated and authorised. Given the shift to high-trust digital working environments and the surge in attacks, interest in zero trust is growing. According to Gartner, 40 percent of remote access will be conducted using a zero trust model by 2024 — up from five percent in 2020. Remote work is driving uptake, with zero trust seen as a fast way to achieve security and compliance, according to a Microsoft report on its adoption. Zero trust is implemented through consistent tools, workflows and processes delivered as a set of shared, centrally-managed and automated services. What does this look like? It means codifying policies and procedures for authorisation and access across the technology stacks, domains and service providers that comprise the IT infrastructure.

IT leadership: How to defeat burnout

What sets Liberty Mutual apart from other organizations is our purpose. We exist to help people embrace today and confidently pursue tomorrow. This is our North Star and helps define and guide everything we do. We also understand that combating burnout requires connecting work to outcome. To ensure that this happens, we spend time defining targeted outcomes – the realization of the expected benefit – versus output – for example, simply turning on a new feature in a system. Success is measured by producing results and realizing benefits. Outcome might be the ability to deploy capabilities faster than before, for example. The key word is ‘capabilities,’ which help us deliver better products and services to customers. An outcome is much bigger than an output such as simply turning on a technology. These nuances matter in the context of burnout. If you’re working on a project and you don’t know why you’re doing it or what the intended results are, you’re not connected to why it matters.

Quote for the day:

"Brilliant strategy is the best route to desirable ends with available means." -- Max McKeown

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