Daily Tech Digest - April 04, 2024

Transforming CI/CD Pipelines for AI-Assisted Coding: Strategies and Best Practices

Most source code management tools, including Git, support tagging features that let developers apply labels to specific snippets of code. Teams that adopt AI-assisted coding should use these labels to identify code that was generated wholly or partially by AI. This is an important part of a CI/CD strategy because AI-generated code is, on the whole, less reliable than code written by a skilled human developer. For that reason, it may sometimes be necessary to run extra tests on AI-generated code — or even remove it from a codebase in the event that it triggers unexpected bugs. ... Along similar lines, some teams may find it valuable to deploy extra tests for AI-generated code during the testing phase of their CI/CD pipelines, both to ensure software quality and to catch any vulnerable code or dependencies that AI introduces into a codebase. Running those tests is likely to result in a more complex testing process because there will be two sets of tests to manage: those that apply only to AI-generated code, and those that apply to all code. Thus, the testing stage of CI/CD is likely to become more complicated for teams that use AI tools.

Revolutionising Regulatory Compliance: AI & ML Powering The Future Of Financial Governance

The use of technology is quickly transforming how businesses handle compliance challenges. AI helps by automating tasks like monitoring and reporting. It quickly finds new regulatory requirements in a sea of information and ensures adherence by the organisation. Machine learning, a type of AI, is good at spotting patterns and unusual things, which is important for following rules. By looking at historical data, it can predict possible risks, so companies can deal with them early. Compliance officers can use AI tools to do routine tasks, handle hard problems, and be more open with regulators. AI’s smart systems make compliance work smoother and more accurate. Looking forward, AI’s contribution to compliance seems promising. Predictive compliance management, powered by AI, will move from reacting to problems to spotting risks early, which could save companies from legal trouble. Real-time monitoring and personalised solutions for each company will become common, making compliance easier and better. Also, AI will work with other new technologies like blockchain and IoT to improve compliance.

Codium announces Codiumate, a new AI agent that seeks to be Devin for enterprise software development

Codium hopes that Codiumate will aid developers in their workflow, speeding up all the manual typing they would otherwise have to do, doing the “heavy lifting” and mechanical coding work, while enabling the developer to act more as a hands-on product manager overseeing the process and course correcting it as necessary, almost as though it is a junior developer or new hire to the team. The technology powering the Codiumate agent on the backend is “best of breed” OpenAI models, according to Friedman. The company is also experimenting with Anthropic’s Claude and Google’s Gemini. It also offers its own large language model (LLM) designed with its AlphaCodium process that increases the performance of other LLMs in code completion tasks. While the former is available to all users, the latter Codium LLM is only for paying enterprise users. Friedman said it is superior to OpenAI’s models on coding and that a “Fortune 10” company that could not be named due to confidentiality reasons was already using it in production.

Healthcare’s cyber resilience under siege as attacks multiply

Every healthcare organization must ensure employees are well aware of and trained about potential threats. It’s critical to ensure they understand how to navigate and evaluate everything that comes in. One requirement could be to only open emails from known senders or to only open attachments if they are secure. Many organizations’ security teams will conduct resilience tests and distribute suspicious-looking emails to see which employees will click it. Modern spam filters are relatively adept at weeding out risky emails, but anyone with an inbox knows that many get through to end users. Most employers issue computers and devices, allowing for secured settings maintained by IT departments. It’s important to keep access and logins only to those devices and not on any personal devices, which are typically much easier attack points to enter a system. Maintaining robust security settings on issued machines is especially important if the employee will be working from remote locations, including at home, where network security tends to not be as robust as within enterprises.

Instilling the Hacker Mindset Organizationwide

Visibility is a foundational principle that suggests you can't secure what you don't know about. Lack of a security team's visibility is a gold rush for hackers because they typically infiltrate an organization's network via hidden or sneaky entry points. If you don't have visibility, there will undoubtedly be a way in. Without visibility into all traffic within an organization's infrastructure, threat actors can continue to lurk in the network and grant themselves access to the organization's most sensitive data. With 93% of malware hiding behind encrypted traffic but only 30% of security professionals claiming to have visibility, it's no wonder that there were more ransomware attacks in the first half of 2023 than in all of 2022. Once a cybercriminal has made their way into the network, time is limited. Only with visibility can the cybercriminal be stopped from wreaking havoc and gaining access to company data. When cybersecurity professionals can better understand the mysterious nature of hackers and how they work, they can better protect their own systems and valuable customer data. It's critical to stay vigilant not only when it comes to major security issues, but also with minor lags in security best practice.

Separating the signals from the noise in tech evolution

With technology trends extensively covered across all forms of media, IT leaders often get questions or advice from well-meaning senior colleagues on what trends to adopt. However, not every trend warrants immediate attention or even playing catch-up if you’re late to the party. Wise leaders often opt to be “smart laggards” who focus on adopting and scaling the trends that really matter to their organizations. And they focus on demonstrating value quickly or stopping pilots or initiatives that are not delivering. ... In the current environment of uncertainty, marked by persistent macroeconomic challenges, global fragmentation, and growing cybersecurity challenges, tech leaders shared their perspectives on risks and resilience. More than one described reinventing the technology function and its value proposition in times of crisis, taking a “through-cycle mindset”: pushing forward in times of crisis rather than retrenching, and focusing on long-term value creation to help the company emerge stronger when conditions change. We also discussed how dashboards should balance short- to mid-term KPIs with long-term value delivery.

Navigating risks in AI governance – what have we learned so far?

In the face of a regulatory void, several entities have taken it upon themselves to establish their own standards aimed at tackling the core issues of model transparency, explainability, and fairness. Despite these efforts, the call for a more structured approach to govern AI development, mindful of the burgeoning regulatory landscape, remains loud and clear. ... However, an AI Risk and Security (AIRS) group survey reveals a notable gap between the need for governance and its actual implementation. Only 30% of enterprises have delineated roles or responsibilities for AI systems, and a scant 20% boast a centrally managed department dedicated to AI governance. This discrepancy underscores the burgeoning necessity for comprehensive governance tools to assure a future of trustworthy AI. ... The patchwork of regulatory approaches across the globe reflects the diverse challenges and opportunities presented by AI-driven decisions. The United States, for example, saw a significant development in July 2023 when the Biden administration announced that major tech firms would self-regulate their AI development, underscoring a collaborative approach to governance.

Unlocking Personal and Professional Growth: Insights From Incident Management

The skills and lessons gained from Incident Management are highly transferable to various aspects of life. For instance, adaptability is crucial not only in responding to technical issues but also in adapting to changes in personal circumstances or professional environments. Teamwork teaches collaboration, conflict resolution, and empathy, which are essential in building strong relationships both at work and in personal life. Problem-solving skills honed during incident response can be applied to tackle challenges in any domain, from planning a project to resolving conflicts. Resilience, the ability to bounce back from setbacks, is a valuable trait that helps individuals navigate through adversity with determination and a positive mindset. Continuous improvement is a mindset that encourages individuals to seek feedback, reflect on experiences, identify areas for growth, and strive for excellence. This attitude of continuous learning and development not only benefits individuals in their careers but also contributes to personal fulfillment and satisfaction.

How to build a developer-first company

Providing a great developer experience—by enabling our customers to easily add auth flows and user management to their apps—leads to a great end-user experience as the customer’s customers seamlessly and securely log in.This kind of virtuous cycle exists at many developer-focused companies. When building a successful developer-first business, it’s critical to tie together the similarities between the customer experience and the developer experience while clearly delineating the differences. ... When helping developers build their customer experience, we emphasize building onboarding and authentication flows with the best user experience in mind. That includes reducing friction, like the use of passwordless methods and progressive profiling, and creating an embedded in-app native experience to avoid needless redirections or pop-ups. Our developer experience includes an onboarding wizard that sets up their project and login flows in a few clicks. We offer a drag-and-drop visual workflow editor to easily create and customize their customer journey. We also provide robust documentation, code snippets, SDKs, tutorials, and a Slack community for troubleshooting. 

How to fix the growing cybersecurity skills gap

Organizations looking to upskill their cybersecurity professionals should consider adjusting and reorganizing key workflows to give the entire security team — aside from just the CISO — ample time to research emerging threats and remain up to date on what the ramifications of these threats may be. By automating repetitive tasks for these team members or restructuring key processes and timelines, the entire team, from CISO to analyst, can have more time to dedicate towards staying ahead of industry trends and cyber-attacks, ultimately strengthening the organization’s ability to detect and respond to threats in the long run. Giving employees time and space to be curious and explore the latest threat intelligence, commentary and insight — including topic-based tabletop exercises or red teaming — will yield significant dividends in understanding the organization's true security posture and preparedness. In today’s cybersecurity landscape, companies must strive to be a learning-forward organization. Tangible adoption of this principle must go beyond formal skills and training — every encounter your teams have with a threat or an attack is a learning opportunity.

Quote for the day:

"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." -- Carl Band

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