Daily Tech Digest - May 06, 2024

No. 1 Reason The ‘Shadow IT’ Trend Is Benefiting Careers But Hampering Companies

Kirimli agrees that while on the surface this trend might seem beneficial, there’s a downside. “While ‘Shadow IT’ might seem like a quick solution for faster project delivery, its drawbacks are too significant to ignore,” he declares. “Safety standards are compromised, recovering accounts becomes a nightmare and company resources are inefficiently utilized.” ... “Convenience is a major reason that shadow IT occurs,” according to Vineet Jain, the co-founder and CEO of Egnyte, a data security startup in Silicon Valley. “Employees sometimes use unauthorized apps or services that make their lives easier—regardless of whether their employer has approved their use of those apps or services. For example, in the early 2000s, cloud technology was becoming more prominent as a way to let workers access the same files and services from any device or share heavy files that couldn't be attached to emails. Before cloud technology went mainstream, employees were using their own software of choice to access the cloud, bypassing IT in doing so. The cloud eventually got so mainstream that it became a corporate initiative.”

AI governance and cybersecurity certifications: Are they worth it?

When the certifications are combined with a strong history of putting it into action, then you get a strong competitive advantage. Once formal standards are released, Bartoletti expects to see a lot more certifications coming out, covering specific topics like how to comply with the EU AI Act, or with NIST, or with other rules and regulations. “I think there will also be a lot of attention on specific sectors, like governing AI in healthcare, or in financial services.” Certifications like the AIGP are particularly valuable for consultants, agrees Steve Ross, director of cybersecurity for the Americas at S-RM Intelligence and Risk Consulting. “Our clients are feeling the uncertainty,” Ross tells CSO. “They would like to increase the use of AI but nobody knows how to use it safely, securely, ethically — and are looking for someone they can trust to do that.” As a result, clients will be looking for the certifications over the next two or three years. “I don’t have one of these certifications, but am thinking of pursuing them,” Ross adds, such as the AIGP certification, which he finds interesting. 

Tech’s new arms race: The billion-dollar battle to build AI

Nevertheless, smaller models may be right for certain applications, especially those where complete knowledge across multiple data domains is not needed. For example, an SLM can be used to fine-tune company-specific data and jargon to provide accurate and personalized responses to customer queries. Or, one could be trained using data for a specific industry or market segment or used to generate comprehensive and tailored research reports and answers to queries. As Rowan Curran, a senior AI analyst at Forrester Research said recently about the different language model options, “You don’t need a sportscar all the time. Sometimes you need a minivan or a pickup truck. It is not going to be one broad class of models that everyone is using for all use cases.” ... Just as rising costs have historically restricted the number of companies capable of building high-end semiconductors, similar economic pressures now shape the landscape of large language model development. These escalating costs threaten to limit AI innovation to a few dominant players, potentially stifling broader creative solutions and reducing diversity in the field. 

Strategies for preventing AI misuse in cybersecurity

No technology, including AI, is inherently good or bad. It’s all about how we use them. And yes, while AI is very powerful in helping us speed up everyday tasks, the bad guys can use it to do the same. We will see phishing emails that are more convincing and more dangerous than ever before thanks to AI’s ability to mimic humans. If you combine that with multi-modal AI models that can create deepfake audio and video, it’s not impossible that we’ll need two-step verification for every virtual interaction with another person. It’s not about where the AI technology is today, it’s about how sophisticated it gets in a few years if we remain on this same trajectory. Fighting these sophisticated threats requires equally advanced AI-driven behavioral analytics to spot anomalies in communication and AI-augmented digital content verification tools to spot deepfakes. Threat intelligence platforms that utilize AI to sift through and analyze vast amounts of data to predict and neutralize threats before they strike are another robust defense. However, tools are limited in their usefulness. I believe we will see the rise of in-person and face-to-face interactions for highly sensitive workflows and data.

9 in 10 Attacks Start With Phishing: Can AI Save The Day? Expert Analysis

Josh Amishav Founder and CEO at Breachsense told Techopedia that LLMs, like those used in generative AI for anti-spam, offer significant advantages over traditional methods by being able to understand and generate human-like text. This helps them better identify subtle nuances and variations in phishing tactics. “Unlike rule-based systems, LLMs can generalize from past data to recognize and react to previously unseen types of spam and phishing attacks. This adaptability allows them to continuously improve their detection accuracy via continuous training to update their models. “Generative AI will certainly enhance anti-spam and phishing protection by leveraging predictive capabilities and natural language understanding to better identify and block sophisticated threats,” Amishav said. “Having said that, there are a number of techniques threat actors could use to evade detection. “LLMs are only as good as the models they’re trained on. If attackers can poison the training model or develop strategies that bypass the model’s ability to properly classify the attack then the effectiveness of these systems could be compromised.”

Unlocking Business Potential: Leveraging Data Protection for Growth and Privacy

The modern competitive business landscape demands businesses to differentiate themselves from others in every aspect of customer satisfaction. And data protection plays a crucial role in navigating the wonderful journey of lasting customer relationships. Your customers actively seek service providers prioritizing their privacy, security, and consent as a part of their business strategy. This means if a business needs to thrive in a highly competitive landscape, it must make data protection a core element of its value proposition. Whether it’s about investing in tools and technologies or implementing stringent privacy policies, everything contributes to enhancing customer trust and brand reputation in the long run. Remember, when customers perceive a business as a trusted guardian of their sensitive information, they’re more likely to choose its services and products over those of competitors. When we talk about data protection, it’s not just about a legal obligation; it’s a strategic imperative for enterprises aiming to unlock diverse growth opportunities. Hence, prioritizing data protection not only lays a strong foundation of trust, it also enables customers to stay loyal to a brand.

5 tips for building highly scalable cloud-native apps

To build systems that are highly available and horizontally scalable, you need an architecture that is built using scalable and composable building blocks. Concretely, the work done by a scalable system should grow linearly with the increase in system size. The original Kafka architecture does not fulfill this criteria because many aspects of load increase non-linearly with the system size. For instance, as the cluster size increases, the number of connections increases quadratically, since all clients typically need to talk to all the brokers. Similarly, the replication overhead also increases quadratically, since each broker would typically have followers on all other brokers. The end result is that adding brokers causes a disproportionate increase in overhead relative to the additional compute/storage capacity that they bring. A second challenge is ensuring isolation between tenants. In particular, a misbehaving tenant can negatively impact the performance and availability of every other tenant in the cluster. Even with effective limits and throttling, there will likely always be some load patterns that are problematic.

Implementing digital evaluation systems: Best practices for educators

The implementation of digital evaluation systems is an iterative process that necessitates continuous evaluation and improvement. Board/University should frequently examine the platform’s performance in meeting predefined goals and fix any difficulties or challenges that occur. Soliciting comments from evaluators and administrators can provide useful information for enhancing system usability, functionality, and user experience. The Boards/Universities can maintain the long-term sustainability and relevance of the digital evaluation system by constantly analysing and developing it to improve result processing. Digital evaluation goes beyond grading; it is a transformative tool for educational excellence and legacy building. It enables Boards/Universities to carefully review student answer booklets, ensuring accuracy and fairness in evaluation. Streamlining administrative processes speeds up the publication of results while maintaining security and efficiency. This is more than just promoting student success; it is about continuous improvement, data security, and personalised evaluation experiences. 

MongoDB and Google Cloud Collaborate to Optimise Gemini Code Assist for Developers Building Applications on MongoDB

Developers today want to integrate generative AI-powered coding assistants to automate parts of their day-to-day workflows so they can significantly increase their productivity and focus on difficult problems. Gemini Code Assist is trained on publicly available datasets, has full codebase awareness, and integrates with popular applications, source-code repositories, and code editors. MongoDB and Google Cloud have partnered closely to help improve Gemini Code Assist responses, bringing a greater depth of intelligence for developers on MongoDB. Through this integration, developers can get enhanced suggestions for MongoDB to help them more quickly build and modernize their applications, and easily access highly curated content and code from MongoDB documentation, detailed use cases, and common tasks with best practices that developers encounter when working with data on MongoDB. Consequently, Gemini Code Assist will help developers more quickly write high-quality code when building data aggregations, performing database operations, and accelerating migration of applications to MongoDB for modernization.

Eight Overlooked Emerging Tech Risks and How to Mitigate Them

When emerging technology doesn’t align with a company’s strategic goals, it can lead to poor ROI and low stakeholder buy-in. For example, a manufacturing company that installs IoT sensors to monitor equipment health without integrating them into existing maintenance strategies risks unplanned downtime, increased costs and reduced productivity. To avoid these risks, ensure that emerging technology aligns with the company’s strategic vision. This requires choosing technology that supports business objectives and planning for change management, workforce training and adequate budget. ... When the board of directors and executive leadership lack an understanding of emerging technologies, it can impact decision-making. ... Treating emerging technology as a tool for incremental improvement rather than business transformation can limit success. A traditional retailer embracing e-commerce, for example, needs to go beyond launching an online store by incorporating data analytics and AI for personalized marketing to realize full benefits. These changes improve the customer experience, streamline operations and open new growth opportunities. 

Quote for the day:

“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change their future by merely changing their attitude.” -- Oprah Winfrey

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