Monday, 21 March 2016

Beware the typo...and the stay safe online

Phishing scams rely to a large extent on people not spotting small typos and therefore believing that an email or website is legitimate..............a clear example would be (which is an Oman registered domain). Believing a communication to be legitimate links are clicked, files downloaded, passwords shared etc which leads to financial loss or worse.

A recent review of the free hacking tools easily available online (passwords crackers, wireless hacking tools including the beautifully named firesheep, packet sniffers, keystroke loggers etc etc) re-emphasise the need to take online security seriously and check online communication with great care.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Lee Se-Dol 1 - DeepMind AlphaGo 4

Expressed in footballing terms it is a bit of a thumping. A computer powered by artificial intelligence has convincingly defeated its world champion human opponent at the intuition based board game GO. Is it possible that AlphaGo deliberately lost one game to give the humans hope and prevent us taking early defensive action ?

Deep Mind was founded in September 2010 so it has taken @6 years to defeat about 6,000 years of human development.

The network effect will allow machines to learn much faster than human biology will allow so the question is what happens next ?

From an optimistic point of view many issues that seem totally beyond our capability to solve can be sorted out (financial crisis, hunger etc etc) from a pessimistic point view we lose control and humans are seen as part of the problem.

Either way this will be pretty exciting and my money backs the humans to keep the upper hand.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

CyberSecurityShow 2016 - trends to watch out for going forward in cyber security

At the 2nd Annual Cyber Security Show in trendy North London a wide variety of vendors, products and services were on display and offered a good insight into industry trends.

At the apex of the industry defence related contractors such as Babcock, Lockheed Martin, Airbus and Thales offer the perception of total security for critical applications. At the next level providers such as Dark Trace, esentire, Zscaler and iboss deliver solutions into financial services and other industries. Below this some excellent but smaller scale operators such as BitNinja, ripjar, GeoLang and SHAYYPE offer more specific solutions to specific problems.

None of the providers go as far as offering a silver bullet solution and none will accept liability if a cyber attack does penetrate defences.

In a few years when the hacker community has had a really good crack at these systems we will have a better idea which ones are robust and resilient and which are signed up members of the smoke and mirrors brigade but in fairness all looked to offer genuine value in one way or another.

The stand out trend was probably the emergence of viable ways to manage remote working from multiple devices in a fairly low risk way across the cloud. A notable absentee was any technical solution to spear phishing which given the resources available to some of the attendees points to the challenge of solving this. The closest to this is DarkTrace which manages internal network threats.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Beyond Google

The industrial revolution and steam age reduced the value of physical labour. Google has now set the bar pretty high for any aspiring knowledge workers. Essentially to deliver value you have to be able to deliver beyond what Google has to offer for free. What might the hourly rate be for a professional Googler ? Would a Google Scholar Googler get a premium ?

Imagine a researcher not delivering what could be discovered on Google in 30 mins and hoping to be paid for it ? Trust has a part to play and perhaps Googling the symptoms of pancreatic cancer would not be enough to head direct to the operating theatre.............but give automated eye scan based diagnosis a few years and we might be there.

DeepMind the Google AI project will really accelerate the erosion of value in knowledge work and challenge the value of many previously well protected professions.