Daily Tech Digest - November 16, 2023

The Digital Revolution and the Demand for Cyber Insurance

The problem with cyberattacks is this – it’s extremely unlikely that any individual or an organization can bring the potential of an attack down to zero. At the same time, with the advancements in technology – the attacks and risks are going to only get more complex and sophisticated. Hence, even the best firewalls and cybersecurity practices might prove toothless in the face of a highly-coordinated attack. The prognosis gets worse when one looks at the current state of preparedness. ... Cyber insurance policies have proven effective in helping businesses pay off liabilities arising from stolen customer data, compromised passwords, breached bank accounts, frozen databases and a lot more. A comprehensive and dynamic cyber insurance protection becomes necessary for almost every business when one considers the severe reputational damage, regulatory fines, legal charges and customer obligations that arise from a cyber attack incident. The best part about cyber insurance is that many insurers also assist businesses in managing the attack – including response, negotiating ransom, legal proceedings and further protection to prevent a repeat of such attacks in the future.

From PKI to PQC: Devising a strategy for the transition

“Independently of PQC as a topic, one of the challenges often voiced by our customers is that public key infrastructure (PKI) can exist in a company in a broad range of departments, making it difficult centralize the responsibility for and ownership of it,” Jason Sabin, Chief Technology Officer at digital security company DigiCert, told Help Net Security. Companies are solving that problem in different ways. In some cases, they centralize their cryptographic activity under one department and one head. In other cases, they create an acting committee, with stakeholders across the company who influence the direction of their programs. “The companies that have already started to centralize management have an organizational method to request that budget and schedule the activity. But for the organizations that have not, there’s a little bit of an organizational design challenge present. And that’s where, I think, the technology leaders need to partner with the business leaders to come up with the best organizational path forward,” he remarked.

Cisco: Generative AI expectations outstrip enterprise readiness

At the heart of most AI networks will be Ethernet, since high-bandwidth Ethernet infrastructure is essential to facilitate quick data transfer between AI workloads, Cisco stated. “Implementing software controls like Priority Flow Control (PFC) and Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN) in the Ethernet network guarantees uninterrupted data delivery, especially for latency-sensitive AI workloads.” For AI readiness, the Cisco research recommends that enterprises build in automation tools for network configuration in order to optimize data transfer between AI workloads. “Automation reduces manual intervention, improves efficiency, and allows the infrastructure to dynamically adapt to the demands of AI workloads,” the researchers said. ... A core component of the data center AI blueprint is Cisco’s Nexus 9000 data center switches, which support up to 25.6Tbps of bandwidth per ASIC and “have the hardware and software capabilities available today to provide the right latency, congestion management mechanisms, and telemetry to meet the requirements of AI/ML applications,” Cisco stated.

Security Is a Process, Not a Tool

A new approach is required that can be more easily scaled to record and map myriad interactions and processes continuously and at enterprise scale. Enter process mining for cybersecurity. Process mining has existed in numerous industries for over a decade. From enterprise resource management (ERP) systems to robotic process automation (RPA), where mapping a process is the first stage of deployment, capturing human interactions with technology as they run through their jobs is a familiar strategy. However, this approach has not been applied to cybersecurity for a handful of reasons. First, analyzing and cataloging processes is tedious work that many cybersecurity and IT teams prefer to leave to auditors. Asking the cybersecurity or IT or networking teams to add this to their already heavy workloads of monitoring and securing infrastructure and software is unsustainable. Second, while cybersecurity and audit teams have long relied on data collected by agents, that data is largely tied to events and changes in security tools, not on processes. 

Info Stealers Thrive in Hot Market for Stolen Data

Despite fierce competition and the ever-present threat of takedowns, info-stealer innovation continues as newcomers debut constantly and existing players refresh their offerings regularly. ... Researchers said the info stealer is being spread through a variety of common distribution tactics, including malicious websites - often disguised as a legitimate installer - as well as drive-by downloads and phishing campaigns. First discovered in 2020, attackers have previously spread the malware using search engine optimization poisoning techniques. At the beginning of 2022, researchers at BlackBerry warned that the malware was often "being bundled with legitimate, signed software" a ploy that "makes it difficult to detect the threat before it has been deployed onto a victim system." Crypto wallets remain one of Jupyter's top targets. The malware searches outright for data files tied to 17 different types of wallets - including Atomic, Guarda, SimplEOS and NEON - as well as for wild-card filenames based on the word "wallet," plus OpenVPN and remote desktop protocol credentials, BlackBerry reported.

Microsoft launches Fabric, adds Copilot for the new platform

Microsoft Fabric is a new environment for data integration, data management and analytics, bringing together a set of capabilities that enable customers to model and analyze data in myriad ways. The suite includes Power BI, Microsoft's longstanding traditional BI platform on which users can develop and consume data products such as reports, dashboards and AI and machine learning models. In addition, Fabric includes Azure Synapse Analytics, a cloud-based service for data integration, data warehousing and big data analytics. Finally, Fabric includes Azure Data Factory, an extract, transform and load service that enables customers to integrate and transform data at scale. In addition to the three formerly separate platforms, Fabric includes a multi-cloud data lake called OneLake that automatically connects to every data workload within Fabric. OneLake comes with shortcuts to data sources such as Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 and Amazon S3.The combination of the previously disparate platforms in a single environment is designed to simplify data management and analysis, according to Microsoft.

The Importance Of Continuous Testing In Agile And DevOps Environments

By embracing continuous testing, businesses can reduce test cycle times. This accelerated testing process integrates testing seamlessly throughout the development life cycle. As a result, organizations can deliver high-quality software faster, ensuring a quicker time to market. This agility allows them to respond promptly to customer demands, stay ahead of the competition and seize valuable market opportunities. ... Implementing continuous testing can increase collaboration among teams. By fostering effective collaboration and communication between development, testing, and operations teams, organizations can create a seamless integration of testing within their agile and DevOps processes. This alignment enables them to streamline workflows, enhance knowledge sharing, and drive efficient cross-functional teamwork, ultimately resulting in better software quality and faster time to market. ... By prioritizing continuous testing, organizations deliver bug-free and feature-rich products consistently, meeting or exceeding customer expectations. 

Five Ways for Digital Trust Professionals to Improve Soft Skills

“Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, manage, and effectively respond to one’s own and others’ emotions. The reality is that soft skills and emotional intelligence are even more important than technical skills as predictors of success. “Soft skills are important for auditors and cybersecurity professionals because they facilitate effective communication, build client confidence, foster trust, enhance teamwork and enable a nuanced understanding of organizational dynamics and human behavior, all of which are essential for identifying risks, conveying complex findings and ensuring the successful implementation of recommended security measures. ... Problem-solving: Problem-solving remains a constant need, particularly as AI and LLMs introduce new challenges. The stable importance of this skill indicates that while AI can provide significant data analysis, humans are still needed for ultimate decision-making, especially when ethical or complex considerations are involved."

How US SEC legal actions put CISOs at risk and what to do about it

If CISOs find themselves in this awkward position, step one is to meet with the general counsel and listen to the attorney's reasoning for the changes, Rasch said. If the CISO is still not satisfied, the next step is to meet with the CEO and listen to the chief executive's rationale. If the CISO is still not satisfied, Rasch suggests hiring outside counsel to offer an ostensibly objective assessment of whether the filing constitutes legal fraud. ... After retaining counsel, all subsequent moves are fraught with danger. "If the CISO believes that there has been a fraud to the SEC, the CISO has an obligation to report it to the board. That may itself be corporate suicide," Rasch said, adding that the next move-going to the feds-is even more problematic. "Going to the SEC is crossing the Rubicon." "The CISO is not an expert on SEC disclosures, but you have an officer who now knows that the company made materially false disclosures," Rasch said. "There is a legal obligation for the CISO to do so if the CISO is right. And only if the CISO is right."

Agile Coaching as a Path toward a Deeper Meaning of Work and Life

Agile coaching can only be learned in actual interactions with people, not by learning methodologies or concepts in classrooms. Of course, classroom training, books, and individual coaching can be of great help. However, the main purpose of all this is to build a social setting, where people can develop new ways of participating in conversations about work. In practice, the best way to learn is to participate in various coaching situations with a more experienced coach. The key is to reflect what kind of cooperative patterns emerged in those situations, and how they were handled. It is also important to learn where the focus of agile coaching is. When an expert, such as a software designer, focuses on developing a product, an agile coach focuses on the social patterns that are emerging around that product development. In practice, the coach learns to focus on the conversations and interactions between the software designers and helps to transform the cooperative patterns of product development. 

Quote for the day:

"Don't wait for the perfect moment take the moment and make it perfect." -- Aryn Kyle

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