Daily Tech Digest - September 18, 2023

The ‘Great Retraining’: IT upskills for the future

As the technology ecosystem expands, Servier Pharmaceuticals’ Yunger believes cultivating hard-to-find skill sets from within is instrumental to future-proofing the IT organization. The company, a Google Cloud Platform shop, came face-to-face with that reality when it became difficult to find specialists, shifting its emphasis to growing its own talent. Yunger takes a talent lifecycle management approach that considers the firm’s three- to five-year strategy, aligns it to the requisite IT skills, and then matches the plan to individualized development and training programs. “We provide our vision of the future to our existing team and give them an opportunity to self-select into those paths to meet our future needs,” he explains. “The better our long-term vision, the more time we have to give our team the chance to learn and grow.” The University of California, Riverside, which is undertaking a similar practice to nurture IT talent from within, makes a concerted effort to start any large-scale reskilling initiative with those most willing to embrace change. 

The double-edged sword of AI in financial regulatory compliance

As fraudsters obtain more personal data and create more believable fake IDs, the accuracy of AI models improves, leading to more successful scams. The ease of creating believable identities enables fraudsters to scale identity-related scams with high success rates. Another key area where generative AI models can be employed by criminals is during various stages of the money laundering process, making detection and prevention more challenging. For instance, fake companies can be created to facilitate fund blending, while AI can simplify the generation of fake invoices and transaction records, making them more convincing. Furthermore, by bypassing KYC/CDD checks, it’s possible to create offshore accounts that hide the beneficial owners behind money laundering schemes. Generating false financial statements becomes effortless and AI can identify loopholes in legislation to facilitate cross-jurisdictional money movements.

Growing With AI Not Against It: How To Stay One Step Ahead

The key to effectively integrating AI into your business lies in proactive engagement. Rather than being passive recipients of technological changes, businesses should take an active role in understanding AI's potential applications. Reflecting on prominent companies such as Kodak and Nokia, which once dominated their respective industries, but ultimately faltered due to their reluctance to adopt technological advancements, underscores the importance of embracing AI as a transformative force. Consider Netflix's evolution from mailing in DVDs to streaming and their use of AI algorithms to recommend personalized content to users. ... In the face of advancing AI technology, the role of leaders is not merely to keep up but to set the pace. By actively engaging with AI, embracing it as a partner, learning from mistakes, and strategically adapting our approach, we position ourselves to harness its potential to foster innovation and enable us to navigate the future with confidence.

Metaverse and Telemedicine: Creating a Seamless Virtual Healthcare Experience

Firstly, the convergence of new core technologies like blockchain, digital twins, convergence, and virtual hospitals into the Metaverse will empower clinicians to offer more integrated treatment packages and programs. Secondly, using AR and VR technologies will enhance patient experiences and outcomes. Another benefit of the Metaverse for telemedicine is that it will facilitate collaboration among healthcare professionals. The ability to share information between healthcare professionals immediately will enable quicker pinpointing of the causes of illnesses. Moreover, the Metaverse will offer new opportunities to students and trainees to examine the human body in a safe, virtual reality educational environment. Surgeons are already using VR, AR, and AI technology to perform minimally-invasive surgeries, and the Metaverse opens up new frontiers in this area. Surgeons will be able to get a complete 360-degree view of a patient’s body, allowing them to better perform complex procedures using these immersive technologies.

Adaptive Security: A Dynamic Defense for a Digital World

Adaptive security systems employ continuous monitoring to gain real-time insights into an organization's network, applications, and endpoints. This continuous data collection allows for the rapid detection of abnormal behavior and potential threats. ... Understanding the context of an activity is crucial in adaptive security. Systems analyze not only the behavior of individual elements but also the relationships between them. This context-awareness helps in distinguishing between normal and malicious activities, reducing false positives. ... Adaptive security leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to process vast amounts of data and identify patterns indicative of threats. These algorithms can adapt and evolve their detection capabilities based on new information and emerging attack vectors. ... Automation is a core element of adaptive security. When a potential threat is detected, adaptive security systems can automatically respond by isolating affected systems, blocking suspicious traffic, or alerting security teams for further investigation. 

The Power Duo: How Platforms and Governance Can Shape Generative AI

As you catalog the tools in your organization, consider where most of your development takes place. Is it happening solely in notebooks requiring code knowledge? Are you versioning your work through a tool like Github, which is often confusing to a non-coding audience? How is documentation handled and maintained over time? Oftentimes, business stakeholders and consumers of the model are locked out of the development process because there is a lack of technical understanding and documentation. When work happens in a silo, hand-offs between teams can be inefficient and result in knowledge loss or even operational roadblocks. This leads to results that are not trusted, oreven worse, adoption of the outputs. Many organizations wait too long before leveraging business experts during the preparation and build stages of the AI lifecycle. ...  This might be because only some of the glued together infrastructure is understood by the business unit, the hand off between teams is clunky and poorly documented, or the steps aren’t clearly laid out in an understandable manner.

How India is driving tech developments at G20

While there were no major technology-related announcements, a lot of indirect spillovers can be found in discussions on artificial intelligence (AI) and crypto regulations, taking a human-centric approach to technology, digitisation of trade documents and tech-enabled development of agriculture and education. As a run-up, there were recommendations and policy actions for the business sector, including the Startup20 initiative to support startup companies and the focus on digital public infrastructure (DPI). The summit had also cast the spotlight on climate change commitments, clean energy, and sustainability development goals. Pradeep Gupta, founder of think tank Security and Policy Initiatives, noted that the emphasis on climate change initiatives at G20 would require IT to play a role in areas like equipment, data management and analytics. “Carbon credits cannot function without good AI and data technology in place,” he said. “DPI will also be a big lever for the industry.” V K Sridhar ... agreed that IT will be instrumental in driving all the climate change agreements that emerged at this G20 – both from a technology and administrative point of view. 

Executive Q&A: Developing Data-Focused Professionals

Many universities have been caught unprepared for the exploding demands in AI skills. Most educational programs are traditional (four years) and do not necessarily give students the specialized in-time skills they need for these jobs. Deloitte had an interesting article about “AI whisperers” as the job of the future, referring to enterprises’ need for employees who deeply understand machine learning algorithms, data structures, and programming languages. Such jobs are already being advertised. An institute of higher education needs to be agile enough to create concentrations and certificates that quickly provide students and existing employees with just-in-time skills. ... There is inertia, and you can argue it is by design: universities are most comfortable with a traditional four-year education. They know how to do that, and education boards that approve these programs are also comfortable with that format. However, a four-year education does not speak to all students or speak to their needs and where they are in life.

How to Become a Database Administrator

Capacity planning is a core responsibility of database administrators. Capacity planning is about estimating what resources will be needed – and available – in the future. These resources include computer hardware, software, storage, and connection infrastructure. Fortunately, planning for infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is quite similar to planning for on-premise. The basic difference in planning is the additional flexibility offered by the cloud. This flexibility allows DBAs to plan for the business’s immediate needs instead of planning for needs three to four years in advance. DBAs can also make use of the cloud’s ability to quickly scale up or down to meet the client’s demands. ... The DBA must be consciously aware of the business’s changing demands and the tools offered in the various clouds. Organizing the business in preparation for surge events – such as Black Friday or the start of school in September – and using the on-demand scalability available in cloud platforms is a primary responsibility of the modern DBA. Anticipating and responding to cyclical demands or major events makes the organization much more efficient.

SSE vs SASE: What You Need to Know

The Security Service Edge (SSE) framework was also coined by Gartner, but several years later in 2021. The SSE framework retains most of the core elements of SASE. The key difference is that SSE is designed for IT environments where SD-WAN is not required. SSE fits well for networks that do not have multiple paths to reach destinations without a need for application-based routing decisions. SSE is responsible for secure web, cloud services, and application access. Some of the top business case scenarios in which SSE works best is VPN replacement for remote employees. ... Typically, those considering SSE want a purely cloud-based security platform that provides a range of security functions at the edge of the network. As with SASE, leading networking and security vendors also have SSE options. However, the cloud-native nature of SSE means it is often marketed as a single platform that can be easily deployed, managed, and scaled. For this reason, SSE will likely gain traction at organizations looking to simplify and scale security for remote workers and transition to cloud-native environments.

Quote for the day:

"Everything you want is on the other side of fear." -- Jack Canfield

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