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Cloud data breaches and cloud complexity on the rise

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A graphic of a padlock representing cybersecurity.

45% of businesses have experienced a cloud-based data breach or failed audit in the past 12 months, up 5% from the previous year, raising even greater concerns regarding to protecting sensitive data from cybercriminals.

This is according to the 2022 Thales Cloud Security Report, conducted by 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Globally, cloud adoption and notably multicloud adoption, remains on the rise. In 2021, organisations worldwide were using an average amount of 110 software as a service (SaaS) applications, compared with just eight in 2015, showcasing a startlingly rapid increase. There has been a notable expansion in the use of multiple IaaS providers, with almost three-quarters (72%) of businesses using multiple IaaS providers, up from 57% the year before. The use of multiple providers has almost doubled in the last year, with one in five (20%) of respondents reporting using three or more providers.

Despite their increasing prevalence and use, businesses share common concerns about the increasing complexity of cloud services with the majority (51%) of IT professionals agreeing that it is more complex to manage privacy and data protection in the cloud. Additionally, the journey to the cloud is also becoming more complex, with the percentage of respondents reporting that they’re expecting to lift and shift, the simplest of migration tactics, dropping from 55% in 2021 to 24% currently.

Security challenges of multicloud complexity

With increasing complexity comes an even greater need for robust cybersecurity. When asked what percentage of their sensitive data is stored in the cloud, a solid majority (66%) said between 21-60%. However, only a quarter (25%) said they could fully classify all data.

Additionally, nearly a third (32%) of respondents admitted to having to issue a breach notification to a government agency, customer, partner or employees. This should be a cause for concern among enterprises with sensitive data, particularly in highly regulated industries.

Cyber-attacks also present an ongoing risk to cloud applications and data. Respondents reported an increasing prevalence of attacks, with a quarter (26%) citing an increase in malware, 25% in ransomware and one-fifth (19%) reporting seeing an increase in phishing/ whaling.

Protecting sensitive data

When it comes to securing data in multicloud environments, IT professionals view encryption as a critical security control. The majority of respondents cited encryption (59%) and key management (52%) as the security technologies they currently use to protect sensitive data in the cloud.

However, when asked what percentage of their data in the cloud is encrypted, only one in ten (11%) of respondents said between 81-100% is encrypted. Additionally, key management platform sprawl may be an issue for enterprises. Only 10% of respondents use one to two platforms, 90% use three or more, and almost one in five (17%) admitted using eight or more platforms.

Encryption should be a priority area for enterprises to focus on when it comes to securing data in the cloud. In fact, 40% of respondents stated that they were able to avoid the breach notification process because the stolen or leaked data was encrypted or tokenised, showcasing the tangible value of encryption platforms.

Additionally, it is encouraging to see signs enterprises embrace Zero Trust and investing accordingly. Nearly a third of respondents (29%) said they are already executing a Zero Trust strategy, a quarter (27%) said they are evaluating and planning one and, 23% said they are considering it. This is a positive result, but there is certainly still room to grow.

Sebastien Cano, senior VP for cloud protection and licensing activities at Thales, said: “The complexity of managing multicloud environments cannot be overstated. Additionally, the growing importance of data sovereignty is increasingly raising questions for CISOs and Data Protection Officers when considering their cloud strategy, governance, and risk management. The challenge is not only where the sensitive data resides geographically, but even who has access to sensitive data inside the organisation.

“There are various solutions such as encryption and key management. Last but not least, continuing to embrace a Zero Trust strategy will be essential in securing these complex environments, helping to ensure organisations can support their data and manage future challenges.”

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NLP & Computer Vision in Cybersecurity

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NLP & Computer Vision in Cybersecurity

Natural language processing (NLP) and computer vision are two branches of artificial intelligence (AI) that are disrupting cybersecurity.

NLP is the ability of computers to understand and process human language, including speech and text. In cybersecurity, NLP can be used for fraud detection by analyzing large amounts of text data, such as emails and chat logs, to identify patterns of malicious activity. NLP can also be used for threat intelligence by analyzing data from various sources, such as news articles and social media, to identify potential security threats.

Computer vision, on the other hand, refers to the ability of computers to interpret and understand images and videos. In cybersecurity, computer vision can be used for password cracking by analyzing images and videos that contain passwords or other sensitive information. It can also be used for facial recognition, which verifies the identity of individuals who access sensitive information or systems.

Cybersecurity is a critical issue in our increasingly connected world, and artificial intelligence (AI) is playing an increasingly important role in helping to keep sensitive information and systems secure. In particular, natural language processing (NLP) and computer vision are two areas of AI that are having a major impact on cybersecurity.

NLP_in_Cybersecurity.png

Source: Masernet

NLP and computer vision have the potential to revolutionize the way organizations approach cybersecurity by allowing them to analyze large amounts of data, identify patterns of malicious activity, and respond to security threats more quickly and effectively. However, it’s important to be aware that AI itself presents new security risks, such as the potential for AI systems to be hacked or misused. As a result, organizations must adopt a comprehensive and well-informed approach to cybersecurity that takes into account the full range of risks and benefits associated with AI technologies. Here are 4 ways NLP & computer vision are useful in cybersecurity.

1. Detecting Fraud

NLP can be used to analyze large amounts of text data, such as emails and chat logs, to identify patterns of fraud and other types of malicious activity. This can help organizations to detect and prevent fraud before it causes significant harm.

2. Analyzing Threats

NLP can also be used to analyze large amounts of text data from a variety of sources, such as news articles and social media, to identify potential security threats. This type of “big data” analysis can help organizations to respond to security threats more quickly and effectively.

3. Preventing Password Cracking

Computer vision can be used to crack passwords by analyzing images and videos that contain passwords or other sensitive information. This type of technology can help organizations to better protect their sensitive information by making it more difficult for attackers to obtain passwords through visual means.

4. Improving Facial Recognition

Computer vision can also be used for facial recognition, which can help organizations to improve their security by verifying the identity of individuals who access sensitive information or systems.

Conclusion

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Source: Visua

AI technologies like NLP and computer vision are playing an increasingly important role in helping to keep sensitive information and systems secure. These technologies have the potential to revolutionize the way that organizations approach cybersecurity by allowing them to analyze large amounts of data, identify patterns of malicious activity, and respond to security threats more quickly and effectively. However, it’s also important to recognize that AI itself presents new security risks, such as the potential for AI systems to be hacked or misused. As a result, organizations must take a holistic and well-informed approach to cybersecurity that takes into account the full range of risks and benefits associated with these powerful new technologies.

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What’s Wrong with the Algorithms?

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What's Wrong with the Algorithms?

Social media algorithms have become a source of concern due to the spread of misinformation, echo chambers, and political polarization.

The main purpose of social media algorithms is to personalize and optimize user experience on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Most social media algorithms sort, filter, and prioritize content based on a user’s individual preferences and behaviors. Social media algorithms have come under scrutiny in recent years for contributing to the spread of misinformation, echo chambers, and political polarization.

Facebook’s news feed algorithm has been criticized for spreading misinformation, creating echo chambers, and reinforcing political polarization. In 2016, the algorithm was found to have played a role in the spread of false information related to the U.S. Presidential election, including the promotion of fake news stories and propaganda. Facebook has since made changes to its algorithm to reduce the spread of misinformation, but concerns about bias and polarization persist.

Twitter’s trending topics algorithm has also been criticized for perpetuating bias and spreading misinformation. In 2016, it was revealed that the algorithm was prioritizing trending topics based on popularity, rather than accuracy or relevance. This led to the promotion of false and misleading information, including conspiracy theories and propaganda. Twitter has since made changes to its algorithm to reduce the spread of misinformation and improve the quality of public discourse.

YouTube’s recommendation algorithm has been criticized for spreading conspiracy theories and promoting extremist content. In 2019, it was revealed that the algorithm was recommending conspiracy theory videos related to the moon landing, 9/11, and other historical events. Additionally, the algorithm was found to be promoting extremist content, including white nationalist propaganda and hate speech. YouTube has since made changes to its algorithm to reduce the spread of misinformation and extremist content, but concerns about bias and polarization persist.

In this article, we’ll examine the problem with social media algorithms including the impact they’re having on society as well as some possible solutions.

1. Spread of Misinformation

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Source: Scientific American

One of the biggest problems with social media algorithms is their tendency to spread misinformation. This can occur when algorithms prioritize sensational or controversial content, regardless of its accuracy, in order to keep users engaged and on the platform longer. This can lead to the spread of false or misleading information, which can have serious consequences for public health, national security, and democracy.

2. Echo Chambers and Political Polarization

Political_Polarization.jpg

Source: PEW Research Center

Another issue with social media algorithms is that they can create echo chambers and reinforce political polarization. This happens when algorithms only show users content that aligns with their existing beliefs and values, and filter out information that challenges those beliefs. As a result, users can become trapped in a self-reinforcing bubble of misinformation and propaganda, leading to a further division of society and a decline in the quality of public discourse.

3. Bias in Algorithm Design and Data Collection

Bias_in_Algorithm_Design.png

Source: Springer Link

There are also concerns about bias in the design and implementation of social media algorithms. The data used to train these algorithms is often collected from users in a biased manner, which can perpetuate existing inequalities and reinforce existing power structures. Additionally, the designers and developers of these algorithms may hold their own biases, which can be reflected in the algorithms they create. This can result in discriminatory outcomes and perpetuate social injustices.

4. Democracy in Retreat

Derosion_of_Democracy.jpeg

Source: Freedom House

Social media algorithms are vulnerable to manipulation and can spread false or misleading information, which can be used to manipulate public opinion and undermine democratic institutions. The dominance of a few large social media companies has led to a concentration of power in the hands of a small number of organizations, which can undermine the diversity and competitiveness of the marketplace of ideas, a key principle of democratic societies.

How to Improve Social Media Algorithms?

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Source: Tech Xplore

Governments and regulatory bodies have a role to play in holding technology companies accountable for the algorithms they create and their impact on society. This could involve enforcing laws and regulations to prevent the spread of misinformation and extremist content, and holding companies responsible for their algorithms’ biases.

There are several possible solutions that can be implemented to improve social media algorithms and reduce their impact on democracy. Some of these solutions include:

  • Increased transparency and accountability: Social media companies should be more transparent about their algorithms and data practices, and they should be held accountable for the impact of their algorithms on society. This can include regular audits and public reporting on algorithmic biases and their impact on society.

  • Regulation and standards: Governments can play a role in ensuring that social media algorithms are designed and operated in a way that is consistent with democratic values and principles. This can include setting standards for algorithmic transparency, accountability, and fairness, and enforcing penalties for violations of these standards.

  • Diversification of ownership: Encouraging a more diverse and competitive landscape of social media companies can reduce the concentration of power in the hands of a few dominant players and promote innovation and diversity in the marketplace of ideas.

  • User education and awareness: Social media users can be educated and empowered to make informed decisions about their usage of social media, including recognizing and avoiding disinformation and biased content.

  • Encouragement of responsible content creation: Social media companies can work to encourage the creation of high-quality and responsible content by prioritizing accurate information and rewarding creators who produce this content.

  • Collaboration between industry, government, and civil society: Addressing the challenges posed by social media algorithms will require collaboration between social media companies, governments, and civil society organizations. This collaboration can involve the sharing of data and best practices, the development of common standards and regulations, and the implementation of public education and awareness programs.

Conclusion

Social media companies have the power to censor and suppress speech, which can undermine the right to free expression and the democratic principle of an open and inclusive public discourse. It is crucial for technology companies and policymakers to address these issues and work to reduce the potential for harm from these algorithms. Social media platforms need to actively encourage and facilitate community participation in the development and improvement of their algorithms. This would involve setting up forums for discussion and collaboration, providing documentation and support for developers, and engaging with the community to address their concerns and ideas. In order to ensure that the algorithms are fair and unbiased, tech companies need to be transparent about the data they collect and use to train their algorithms. This would involve releasing the data sets used to train the algorithms, along with information about how the data was collected, what it represents, and any limitations or biases it may contain.

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Daasity builds ELT+ for Commerce on the Snowflake Data Cloud

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Cloud Computing News

Modular data platform Daasity has launched ELT+ for Commerce, Powered by Snowflake.

It is thought ELT+ for Commerce will benefit customers by enabling consumer brands selling via eCommerce, Amazon, retail, and/or wholesale to implement a full or partial data and analytics stack. 

Dan LeBlanc, Daasity co-founder and CEO, said: “Brands using Daasity and Snowflake can rapidly implement a customisable data stack that benefits from Snowflake’s dynamic workload scaling and Secure Data Sharing features.

“Additionally, customers can leverage Daasity features such as the Test Warehouse, which enables merchants to create a duplicate warehouse in one click and test code in a non-production environment. Our goal is to make brands, particularly those at the enterprise level, truly data-driven organisations.”

Building its solution on Snowflake has allowed Daasity to leverage Snowflake’s single, integrated platform to help joint customers extract, load, transform, analyse, and operationalise their data. With Daasity, brands only need one platform that includes Snowflake to manage their entire data environment.

Scott Schilling, senior director of global partner development at Snowflake, said: “Daasity’s ELT+ for Commerce, Powered by Snowflake, will offer our joint customers a way to build a single source of truth around their data, which is transformative for businesses pursuing innovation.

“As Snowflake continues to make strides in mobilising the world’s data, partners like Daasity give our customers flexibility around how they build data solutions and leverage data across the organisation.” 

Daasity enables omnichannel consumer brands to be data-driven. Built by analysts and engineers, the Daasity platform supports the varied data architecture, analytics, and reporting needs of consumer brands selling via eCommerce, Amazon, retail, and wholesale. Using Daasity, teams across the organisation get a centralised and normalised view of all their data, regardless of the tools in their tech stack and how their future data needs may change. 

ELT stands for Extract, Load, Transform, meaning customers can extract data from various sources, load the data into Snowflake, and transform the data into actions that marketers can pursue. For more information about Daasity, our 60+ integrations, and how the platform drives more profitable growth for 1600+ brands, visit us at Daasity.com.

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