Daily Tech Digest - December 09, 2023

AI in Biotechnology: The Big Interview with Dr Fred Jordan, Co-Founder of FinalSpark

Of course, the ethical consideration is increased because we are using human cells. From an ethical perspective, what is interesting is that all this wouldn’t be possible without the ISPCs. Ethically, we don’t need to take the brain of a real human being to conduct experiments. ... The ultimate goal is to develop machines with a form of intelligence. We want to create a real function, something useful. Imagine inputting a picture to the organoid, and it responds, recognizing objects like cats or dogs. Right now, we are focusing on one specific function – the significant reduction in energy consumption, potentially millions to billions of times less than digital computers. As a result, one practical application could be cloud computing, where these neuron-based systems consume significantly less energy. This offers an eco-friendly alternative to traditional computing processing. Ultimately, the future of AI in biotechnology holds huge potential for various applications because it’s a completely new way of looking at neurons. It’s like the inventors of the transistor not knowing about the internet.

AI regulatory landscape and the need for board governance

“We all need to have a plan in place, and we need to be thinking about how are you using it and whether it is safe.” She underscored the urgency, noting that journalists are investigating where AI has gone wrong and where it’s discriminating against people. Additionally, there are lawyers who seize potential litigation opportunities against ill-prepared, deep-pocketed organizations. "Good AI hygiene is non-negotiable today, and you must have good oversight and best practices in place," she asserted. Despite a lack of comprehensive Congressional AI legislation, Vogel clarified that AI is not without oversight. Four federal agencies recently committed to ensuring fairness in emerging AI systems. In a recent statement, agency leaders committed to using their enforcement powers if AI perpetuates unlawful bias or discrimination. AI regulatory bills have been proposed by over 30 state legislatures, and the international community is also ramping up efforts. Vogel cited the European Union's AI Act as the AI equivalent of the GDPR bill, which established strict data privacy regulations affecting companies worldwide.

Data Management, Distribution, and Processing for the Next Generation of Networks

Investments in cloud architectures by CSPs span their own resources – but they also extend to third parties; federated cloud architectures are the result. These interconnected cloud assets allow CSPs to extend their reach, share resources and collaborate with other stakeholders to secure desired outcomes. Why do we combine this with edge computing? Because resources at the edge may not be in the CSP’s own domain. Edge systems may be a combination of CSP-owned and other resources that are used in parallel to deliver a particular service. And, regardless of overall pace towards 5G SA, edge computing is now firmly in demand by enterprises (and CSPs), to support a new generation of high-performance and low latency services. This demand won’t only be served by CSPs, however. Many enterprises are seeking to deploy private networks – and the resources required to support their applications may be accessed via federated clouds. This user may not need its own UPF, but it may benefit from one offered by another provider in an adjacent edge location, or delivered by a systems integrator that runs multiple private networks with shared resources, available on demand.

Understanding Each Link of the Cyberattack Impact Chain

There are two ways to assess the cyberattack impact chain: Causes and effects. To build stakeholder support for CSAT, CISOs have to show the board how much damage cyberattacks are capable of causing. Beyond the fact that the average cost of a data breach reached an all-time high of $4.45 million in 2023, there are many other repercussions: Disrupted services and operations, a loss of customer trust and a heightened risk of future attacks. CSAT content must inform employees about the effects of cyberattacks to help them understand the risks companies face. It’s even more important for company leaders and employees to have a firm grasp on the causes of cyberattacks. Cybercriminals are experts at exploiting employees’ psychological vulnerabilities – particularly fear, obedience, craving, opportunity, sociableness, urgency and curiosity – to steal money and credentials, break into secure systems and launch cyberattacks. Consider the MGM attack, which relied on vishing – one of the most effective social engineering tactics, as it allows cybercriminals to impersonate trusted entities to deceive their victims.

Another Cyberattack on Critical Infrastructure and the Outlook on Cyberwarfare

Critical infrastructure attacks, like the one against the water authority in Pennsylvania, have occurred in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war. And geopolitical tension and turmoil expands beyond this conflict. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sparked cyberattacks. Chinese cyberattacks against government and industry in Taiwan have increased. “This is just going to be an ongoing part of operating digital systems and operating with the internet,” Dominique Shelton Leipzig, a partner and member of the cybersecurity and data privacy practice at global law firm Mayer Brown, tells InformationWeek. While kinetic weapons are still very much a part of war, cyberattacks are another tool in the arsenal. Successful cyberattacks against critical infrastructure have the potential for widespread devastation. “The landscape of warfare is changing,” says Warner. And the weaponization of artificial intelligence is likely to increase the scale of cyberwarfare. “We have the normal technology that we use for denial-of-service attacks, but imagine being able to do all of that on an even greater scale,” says Shelton Leipzig.

Continuous Testing in the Era of Microservices and Serverless Architectures

Continuous testing is a practice that emphasizes the need for testing at every stage of the software development lifecycle. From unit tests to integration tests and beyond, this approach aims to detect and rectify defects as early as possible, ensuring a high level of software quality. It extends beyond mere bug detection and it encapsulates a holistic approach. While unit tests can scrutinize individual components, integration tests can evaluate the collaboration between diverse modules. The practice allows not only the minimization of defects but also the robustness of the entire system. ... Decomposed testing strategies are key to effective microservices testing. This approach advocates for the examination of each microservice in isolation. It involves a rigorous process of testing individual services to ensure their functionality meets specifications, followed by comprehensive integration testing. This methodical approach not only identifies defects at an early stage but also guarantees seamless communication between services, aligning with the modular nature of microservices.

Understanding Master Data Management’s integration challenges

The integration of data within MDM is a very complex task, which should not be underestimated. Many organizations often have a myriad of source systems, each with its own data structure and format. These systems can range from commercial CRM or ERP systems to custom-built legacy software, all of which may use different data models, definitions, and standards. In addition, organizations often desire real-time or near-real-time synchronization between the MDM system and the source systems. Any changes in the source systems need to be immediately reflected in the MDM system to ensure data accuracy and consistency. Using a native connector from the MDM system to read data from your operational systems can provide several benefits, such as ease of integration. This has been illustrated at the bottom in the image above. However, the choice of using a native connector or a custom-built one mostly depends on your specific needs, the complexity of your data, the systems you’re integrating, and the capabilities of your MDM system.

Aim for a modern data security approach

Beginning with data observability, a “shift left” implementation requires that data security become the linchpin before any application is put into production. Instead of being confined to data quality or data reliability, security needs to become another use case application of the underlying data and be unified into the rest of the data observability subsystem. By doing this, data security benefits from the alerts and notifications stemming from data observability offerings. Data governance platform capabilities typically include business glossaries, catalogs, and data lineage. They also leverage metadata to accelerate and govern analytics. In “shift left” data governance, the same metadata is augmented by data security policies and user access rights to further increase trust and allow appropriate users to access data. Leveraging and establishing comprehensive data observability and governance is the key to data democratization. As a result, these proactive and transparent views over the security of critical data elements will also accelerate application development and improve productivity.

Google expands minimum security guidelines for third-party vendors

"The expanded guidance around external vulnerability protection aims to provide more consistent legal protection and process to bug hunters that want to protect themselves from being prosecuted or sued for reporting findings," says Forester Principal Analyst Sandy Carielli. "It also helps set expectations about how companies will work with researchers. Overall, the expanded guidance will help build trust between companies and security researchers." The enhanced guidance encourages more comprehensive and responsible vulnerability disclosures, says Jan Miller, CTO of threat analysis at OPSWAT, a threat prevention and data security company. "That contributes to a more secure digital ecosystem, which is especially crucial in critical infrastructure sectors where vulnerabilities can have significant repercussions," he says. ... The enhanced guidance encourages more comprehensive and responsible vulnerability disclosures, says Jan Miller, CTO of threat analysis at OPSWAT, a threat prevention and data security company. 

Europe Reaches Deal on AI Act, Marking a Regulatory First

"Europe has positioned itself as a pioneer, understanding the importance of its role as global standard setter," said Thierry Breton, the European commissioner for internal market, who had a key role in negotiations. The penalties for noncompliance with the rules can lead to fines of up to 7% of global revenue, depending on the violation and size of the company. What the final regulation ultimately requires of AI companies will be felt globally, a phenomenon known as the Brussels effect since the European Union often succeeds in approving cutting-edge regulations before other jurisdictions. The United States is nowhere near approving a comprehensive AI regulation, leaving the Biden administration to rely on executive orders, voluntary commitments and existing authorities to combat issues such as bias, deep fakes, privacy and security. European officials had no difficulty in agreeing that the regulation should ban certain AI applications such as social scoring or that regulations should take a tiered-based approach that treats high-risk systems, such as those that could influence the outcome of an election, with greater requirements for transparency and disclosure.

Quote for the day:

''It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot

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