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Cloud-native adoption shifts security responsibilities across teams

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Cloud-native and open-source are booming with IT decision makers (97%) and developers (96%) stating that their organisations plan to expand use over the next 12 months.

With this increase in use comes a greater need for security due to rising compliance regulations and ever-evolving cyberattacks. Both parties stated that they have high confidence in their organisations’ ability to manage security for cloud-based applications, with 97% of IT decision-makers and 96% of developers rating their abilities as strong.

This is according to a study by Styra, the creator and maintainer of Open Policy Agent (OPA) and specialist in cloud-native authorisation. Its ‘2022 Cloud-Native Alignment Report’ explores how in sync, or misaligned, IT decision-makers and developers are when it comes to cloud-native technology use and security during their digital transformation journeys. As organisations increase adoption, the report outlines why developers and IT decision-makers need a unified approach in addressing security and compliance.

Styra surveyed 350 IT decision-makers and 350 developers that work with cloud-native environments to learn how they view their responsibilities when contributing to digital transformations at their organisations. Having a unified approach between IT decision makers and developers during the transition to cloud-native is paramount to making internal processes and innovation more efficient. Styra conducted this survey to see how coordinated the two groups are, and to understand where disconnects create challenges for an organisation’s success.

Even with confidence in an organisation’s security, IT decision makers and developers need to increase alignment on who owns policy, compliance and cloud security responsibilities in order to make operations seamless. Here is where they currently stand:
● Defining policies that control how cloud applications are secured and managed:
○ 21% of developers believe IT Infrastructure and Ops Team teams are responsible
○ 45% of IT leaders believe its the IT Infrastructure and Ops Team
● Proving that applications are compliant internally:
○ 22% of developers believe that IT Infrastructure and Ops teams are responsible
○ 41% of IT decision makers believe that IT Infrastructure and Ops teams are responsible
● Meeting and proving compliance to external auditors:
○ 42% of developers said it is the security teams’ job
○ 25% of IT decision makers believe it is the security team’s job

“With organisations increasing their investment in cloud-native and open-source technologies, it’s important that teams are aligned when it comes to security,” said Tim Hinrichs, co-founder and CTO at Styra. “As the creators of Open Policy Agent and leaders in cloud-native authorisation, we’re seeing firsthand in our community the changing dynamics around security and policy, especially with new trends like ‘shift left,’ ‘everything-as-code’ and ‘DevSecOps.’ While it’s great to see both developers and IT decision-makers aligned around the importance of cloud-native security, they need to start looking at it with a unified approach.”

Additional findings in the “2022 Cloud-Native Alignment Report” include:
● Cloud-native and open-source adoption leads to different challenges:
○ Over the next 12 months, 63% of IT decision makers believe training employees to use cloud-native and open-source tools is the biggest challenge
○ Over the next 12 months, 70% of developers believe onboarding each piece of new technology and phasing out old technology is the biggest challenge
● IT decision makers and developers have different priorities in mind:
○ Developers believe migrating legacy applications to the cloud (67%) and building production, customer-facing cloud applications (66%) should come first
○ IT decision makers slightly differ, believing enhancing data privacy security measures (77%) and then migrating legacy applications to the cloud (59%) should be prioritized
○ Both parties (IT leaders – 57%, developers – 65%) believe building a proof-of-concept application in the cloud should come third

“These findings prove that IT decision makers and developers need to work together as they take on accelerated adoption of open-source and cloud-native tools,” said Hinrichs. “With Open Policy Agent and policy management systems like Styra DAS, teams can get on the same page and streamline their efforts when it comes to security in cloud-native and open source environments. Doing so now will ensure organisations are setting themselves up for success now and well into the future.”

Want to learn more about cloud and cyber security from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo. The next events in the series will be held in Santa Clara on 11-12 May 2022, Amsterdam on 20-21 September 2022, and London on 1-2 December 2022. 

Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

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TECHNOLOGY

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

Spread_of_Information.jpg

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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TECHNOLOGY

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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