Daily Tech Digest - June 18, 2023

4 Advances In Penetration Testing Practices In 2023

Penetration testing has evolved significantly over the past few years, with a growing emphasis on mimicking real-life cyberattack scenarios for greater accuracy and relevance. By adopting more realistic simulation strategies, pen testers aim to emulate threats that an organization might realistically face in their operational environment, thereby providing valuable insights into susceptibilities and vulnerabilities. This approach entails examining an organization’s infrastructure from multiple angles, encompassing technological weaknesses as well as human factors such as employee behavior and resistance to social engineering attacks. ... With cyber threats constantly scaling and tech landscapes evolving at a rapid pace, automation enables organizations to efficiently identify potential weaknesses without sacrificing accuracy or thoroughness. Automated tools can expedite vulnerability assessment processes by scanning networks for known flaws or misconfigurations while continuously staying up-to-date with emerging threat information, significantly reducing manual workloads for security teams. 

Microservices vs. headless architecture: A brief breakdown

In general, the microservice-based approach requires that architects and developers determine exactly which microservices to build, which is not an easy task. Software teams must carefully assess how to achieve the best balance between application complexity and modularity when designing a microservices application. There are also few standards or guidelines that dictate the exact number of individual microservice modules an application should embody. While including too many microservices can add unnecessary development and operations overhead as well as compromise the architecture's flexibility, a headless architecture is much easier to design since there is still a clear definition between the front and the backend. Division of responsibilities will remain much clearer, and the relationship between components is less likely to get lost in translation. A single microservice-based application can easily represent dozens of individual services running across a complex cluster of servers. Each service must be deployed and monitored separately because each one could impact the performance of other microservices. 

The Power Of The Unconscious Mind: Overcoming Mental Obstacles To Success

Bringing our unconscious mind into alignment and reconciliation with our conscious mind requires a level of self-awareness that many people are unable to achieve independently. Individuals who are struggling with achieving goals and don’t know why may find it helpful to work with an objective outside observer, such as a therapist or a professional coach, who can help them identify thought and behavior patterns that may be holding them back from advancing in work or life. Ultimately, to break out of these self-limiting beliefs, it’s important to change one’s thinking, particularly in areas when self-abnegating thoughts have been dominating our lives for far too long. When I’m working with clients, I try to help them develop what’s called a “growth mindset”—that is, an inherent belief in one’s own ability to constantly learn new skills, gain new capabilities and improve. People who have a growth mindset do not see failures as the end of the road, or as confirmation of the self-limiting, critical beliefs they’ve internalized throughout their lives.

How AI and advanced computing can pull us back from the brink of accelerated climate change

AI is one of the significant tools left in the fight against climate change. AI has turned its hand to risk prediction, the prevention of damaging weather events, such as wildfires and carbon offsets. It has been described as vital to ensuring that companies meet their ESG targets. Yet, it’s also an accelerant. AI requires vast computing power, which churns through energy when designing algorithms and training models. And just as software ate the world, AI is set to follow. AI will contribute as much as $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030, which is greater than the GDP of Japan, Germany, India and the UK. That’s a lot of people using AI as ubiquitously as the internet, from using ChatGPT to craft emails and write code to using text-to-image platforms to make art. The power that AI uses has been increasing for years now. For example, the power required to train the largest AI models doubled roughly every 3.4 months, increasing 300,000 times between 2012 and 2018. This expansion brings opportunities to solve major real-world problems in everything from security and medicine to hunger and farming.

Unleashing the Power of Data Insights: Denodo Platform & the New Tableau GPT capability

When the Denodo Platform and Tableau GPT are integrated, Tableau customers can unlock several key benefits, including: Data Unification: The Denodo Platform’s logical data management capabilities provide Tableau GPT with a unified view of data from diverse sources. By integrating data silos and disparate systems, organizations can access a comprehensive, holistic data landscape within Tableau. The elimination of manual data consolidation simplifies the process of accessing and analyzing data, accelerating insights and decision-making. This significantly reduces the need for manual effort and enhances efficiency in data management. Expanded Data Access: The Denodo Platform’s ability to connect to a wide range of data sources means Tableau GPT can leverage an extensive array of structured and unstructured data. With connections to over 200 data sources, the Denodo Platform lets organizations tap into a comprehensive, distributed data ecosystem as easily and simply as connecting to a single data source.

Importance of quantum computing for reducing carbon emissions

Quantum computers have been an exciting tech development in recent times. They are exponentially faster than classical computers which makes them suitable for several applications in a wide variety of areas. However, they are still in their nascent stage of development, and even the most sophisticated machines are limited to a few hundred qubits. There is also the inherent problem of random fluctuations or noise—the loss of information held by qubits. This is one of the chief obstacles in the practical implementation of quantum computers. As a result, it takes more time for these noisy intermediate-scale quantum computers to perform complex calculations. Even the most basic reaction of CO2 with the simplest amine, ammonia, turns out to be too complex for these NISQs. VQE utilises a quantum computer to estimate the energy of a quantum system, while using a classical computer to optimise and suggest improvements to the calculation. One possible remedy to this problem is to combine quantum and classical computers, to overcome the problem of noise in quantum algorithms. 

Master the small daily improvements that set great leaders apart

When people talk about authentic leadership, what they’re really looking for is someone who practices what they preach. You don’t have to be successful at everything you’ll ask others to try, but you’ll need to have tried it. You’ll also need to understand how and when certain skills work, and when they don’t. Consider making time to take care of yourself. We tell folks that it’s important to take vacation time to recharge their batteries, but do we do the same? I had a colleague who would take a big splashy vacation every year. He’d make sure to tell everyone that there was no cellphone reception where he was going for that week. The other 51 weeks of the year? He’d respond instantly to all communications and always follow up with questions, sending messages day or night, seven days a week. The clear subtext was that outside of disappearing for one week a year, there was no expectation of taking time away. His message about time away from the office rang hollow to everyone around him. Great leaders make a point of disappearing often to take care of themselves in visible ways. 

Unleashing the Power of AI-Engineered DevSecOps

Implementing an AI-engineered DevSecOps solution comes with several potential pitfalls that can derail the process if not appropriately managed. Here are a few of them, along with suggestions for how to avoid them: Inadequate Planning and Alignment with Business Goals: Ignoring the strategic alignment between implementing AI-engineered DevSecOps and overall business goals can lead to undesirable outcomes. Clearly define the business objectives and how AI-engineered DevSecOps supports them. Outline expected outcomes and key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with business goals to guide the initiative. Neglecting Training and Upskilling: AI tools can be complex, and without proper understanding and training, their deployment may not yield desired results. Invest in training your teams on AI-engineered DevSecOps tools and techniques. Ensure they understand the functionalities of these tools and how to effectively use them. Upskilling your team will be crucial for leveraging AI capabilities. Ignoring Change Management: Introducing AI into DevSecOps is a significant change that can disrupt workflows and resistance from the team members. 

Scientists conduct first test of a wireless cosmic ray navigation system

It's similar to X-ray imaging or ground-penetrating radar, except with naturally occurring high-energy muons rather than X-rays or radio waves. That higher energy makes it possible to image thick, dense substance. The denser the imaged object, the more muons are blocked. The Muographix system relies on four muon-detecting reference stations above ground serving as coordinates for the muon-detecting receivers, which are deployed either underground or underwater. The team conducted the first trial of a muon-based underwater sensor array in 2021, using it to detect the rapidly changing tidal conditions in Tokyo Bay. They placed ten muon detectors within the service tunnel of the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line roadway, which lies some 45 meters below sea level. They were able to image the sea above the tunnel with a spatial resolution of 10 meters and a time resolution of one meter, sufficient to demonstrate the system's ability to sense strong storm waves or tsunamis. The array was put to the test in September of that same year, when Japan was hit by a typhoon approaching from the south, producing mild ocean swells and tsunamis.

Five Steps to Principle-based Technology Transformation

Enterprise architecture frameworks prescribe using a set of principles to guide and align all architectural decisions within a particular environment. But how does one get to that set of principles, and how does it help to achieve some desired end state? Still, I believe in principles – chosen at the right time, using the proper context. They are much like having values in life – they allow you to test and focus decisions in complex environments; and also, provide a mechanism to explain technology decisions to business people. As principles guide decisions for future actions, they must ensure achievement of the transformation goals. But how does one determine the starting point in a complex environment, and how does one define the endpoint in the ever-changing landscape? I found these questions very perplexing until I realised that the success of a technology architecture is not about using any specific system/solution – but more about the CHARACTERISTICS of the environment – required by the Business to grow, prosper and achieve its strategic objectives.

Quote for the day:

"Success is not a random act. It arises out of a predictable and powerful set of circumstances and opportunities." -- Malcolm Gladwell

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