IT News: Blockchain, AI, IoT, Backup, Careers (June 14th, 2021)

Volume 279 Issue 2: June 7th, 2021 — June 13th, 2021

Selections from the weekly newsletter, “IT News and Events.


5 Challenges With Blockchain Adoption And How To Avoid Them

Organizations tend to face the same hurdles when they try to implement blockchain. Knowing what they are could be the first big step to overcoming them on the road to success

"Blockchain technology has been surrounded by plenty of hype, which makes many business leaders keenly interested in adopting it but also concerned about blockchain challenges and risks.

At its most basic, blockchain refers to peer-to-peer distributed ledger technology that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way, enabling tracking and traceability. This emerging technology has game-changing potential for a wide range of applications that go far beyond its roots in cryptocurrency..." [SearchCIO, June 11th, 2021]

8 Blockchain Security Risks To Weigh Before Adoption

Blockchain and smart contracts have their own unique vulnerabilities. But poor code testing, cryptographic keys and generic network attacks will get you, too

"Why is enterprise blockchain so hot right now? It boils down to two main reasons: existing multi-party data sharing and processing is beyond disastrous, and everyone wants to force other people to use their own homegrown system and data format.

Enterprise blockchains address these issues in two ways. First and foremost, the blockchain and smart contracts force everyone to agree on data formats and processing rules and, more importantly, these rules are enforced by the system. There's no manual override available, unless everyone agrees to make that change. Second, because blockchain and smart contracts are so new, it's essentially a greenfield deployment for everyone. Chances are, nobody will have an existing solution they're trying to foist on everyone else..." [SearchCIO, June 11th, 2021]

5 Tips To Successfully Implement Blockchain For Businesses

Learning how to implement blockchain requires a clear understanding of the technology's decentralized ecosystem. Following these guidelines will help simplify your approach

"Learning how to implement blockchain requires a clear understanding of the technology's decentralized ecosystem.

Following these tips will help simplify your approach while providing quality ROI and the best results from a blockchain implementation.

1. Real blockchain developers play with their tokens in public

Blockchains are decentralized ecosystems, so no one party controls the network as a whole and everyone participates with the same set of rules. Public blockchains, specifically Ethereum, are the only blockchains where this is actually the case..." [SearchCIO, June 11th, 2021]

Today's Blockchain Use Cases And Industry Applications

Though far from a mature technology, blockchain is gaining prominence as a sound and highly secure method of conducting myriad transactions in multiple applications and industries

Blockchain technology is a shared database that keeps track of a given collection of transactions. Groups of transactions comprise a block, the contents of which can never be changed. Each block is timestamped and joined to the filled block before it with another block joined behind it when it becomes filled with data, forming what is known as a blockchain. Its most common use is as a distributed ledger wherein all participants agree on each transaction's "truth" and verify the legitimacy of the transaction before it becomes a permanent record in a block. [SearchCIO, June 11th, 2021]

7 Must-Know Blockchain Trends For 2021

Blockchain-driven tokenization, identity management and decentralized finance are poised to transform business -- to say nothing of cryptocurrency's newfound credibility.

"Blockchain, which for its brief history has been inextricably tied to cryptocurrencies, is starting to cut its teeth as a serious business technology.

Whether it's bringing transparency to a supply chain, reducing risk in financial transactions or defining ownership and value of so-called "non-fungible tokens," or NFTs, blockchain is increasingly seen as much more than a Bitcoin database.

In the short term, blockchain has the potential to completely transform the movement of information through a supply chain or to change how bank reconciliation unfolds. Down the line, blockchain is shaping up to be the connective tissue for a new approach to ERP, making it possible for networks of ERP systems to work together..." [SearchCIO, June 10th, 2021]


Machine Learning At The Edge: TinyML Is Getting Big

Being able to deploy machine learning applications at the edge is the key to unlocking a multi-billion dollar market

"Is it $61 billion and 38.4% CAGR by 2028 or $43 billion and 37.4% CAGR by 2027? Depends on which report outlining the growth of edge computing you choose to go by, but in the end it's not that different.

What matters is that edge computing is booming. There is growing interest by vendors, and ample coverage, for good reason. Although the definition of what constitutes edge computing is a bit fuzzy, the idea is simple. It's about taking compute out of the data center, and bringing it as close to where the action is as possible..." [ZDNet, June 7th, 2021]

Why The Future Of AI Is On The Edge

Today's societies are becoming ever more data-centric and automated. Autonomous systems are already hitting our roads, oceans, and air space. Millions of smart sensors are getting embedded into cars, smart cities, smart homes, and warehouses using intelligent system, promising to connect everything from people to machines and even robotic agents

"This rapid growth in the number of intelligent applications is expected to drive the growth of the edge AI software market.

What's driving edge AI?

Most AI processes are carried out using cloud-based data centers that need substantial compute capacity. These expenses can add up quickly. Also, when AI applications are run on cloud technologies, they experience latency problems, making it difficult to provide fast responses..." [CXOtoday, June 10th, 2021]

3 Ways AI Is Revolutionizing Professional Services

For nearly every sector, AI and ML are not elements of a far flung future, but real tools useful to companies right now

"Few industries feature more paperwork or repetitive tasks than the big two professional services - accounting and legal work - and tasks like invoice review, budgeting and compliance are particularly well-suited for AI intervention.

Look to the legal and finance departments within enterprise companies; too often in-house counsel are bogged down in administrative paperwork that takes away from thought-provoking, value-creating pursuits. While this represents a kind of busywork, the repetitive tasks in legal and finance are more likely to be highly sensitive and highly valuable..." [EnterpriseAI, June 11th, 2021]

Study Shows AI-Generated Fake Reports Fool Experts

If you use such social media websites as Facebook and Twitter, you may have come across posts flagged with warnings about misinformation

"So far, most misinformation - flagged and unflagged - has been aimed at the general public. Imagine the possibility of misinformation - information that is false or misleading - in scientific and technical fields like cybersecurity, public safety and medicine.

There is growing concern about misinformation spreading in these critical fields as a result of common biases and practices in publishing scientific literature, even in peer-reviewed research papers. As a graduate student and as faculty members doing research in cybersecurity, we studied a new avenue of misinformation in the scientific community. We found that it's possible for artificial intelligence systems to generate false information in critical fields like medicine and defense that is convincing enough to fool experts..." [GCN, June 7th, 2021]


Why Data Storage Isn'T A 'One Size Fits All' Solution For IoT

CheChung Lin, director of technical product marketing at Western Digital, discusses why data storage isn't a 'one size fits all' solution when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT)

"Behind the complex network of connected technologies and devices, which makes up the Internet of Things (IoT) landscape, lies a similarly large and sprawling network of data infrastructure. The amount of data produced by the IoT correlates to the large-scale growth that this segment is experiencing. Whilst capturing data is a key part of the process, so is ensuring it can be stored, accessed, and transformed into valuable insights. As data is the largest and most unique resource in each IoT application, enterprises must pay attention to how to store it appropriately to get maximum value from it..." [InformationAge, June 7th, 2021]

Evaluate Edge Computing Software For Device Management

Managing a variety of devices at the edge can create a complex challenge for organizations, but software-based edge management platforms can help

"Edge computing can reduce the computing load on a data center's infrastructure by moving data and calculations to the edge. However, such devices add complexity to an organization's IT system, because staff must learn to deploy, secure and maintain them. Consider the various software management options for edge devices.

As managing edge computing devices becomes increasingly more challenging for IT professionals, many organizations turn to software applications and platforms to manage assets, data and power for their edge devices... [SearchDataCenter, June 9th, 2021]


5 Key Tips To Defend Your Backups From Ransomware Encryption And Deletion

Ransomware remains one of the most frequent forms of security incidents. Over a quarter (27 percent) of malware incidents in 2020 were ransomware attacks

That's because the motivation behind the vast majority of malicious data breaches is not geopolitical or national security objectives, it is money. And there is simply no better or faster way to monetize a malware attack than encrypting or deleting victims' files and demanding payment.

Plus, payment demands are going up. In Q3 2020, the average ransomware payment demand was $233,817. Companies like CWT Global and Colonial Pipeline have each paid more than four million dollars to get their data back after a ransomware attack. [Druva News, June 7th, 2021]


Ask The Headhunter: Recruiter Pressure

When independent recruiters are discussing a job with me, they ask if there are any job opportunities that I'm actively exploring on my own. What should I tell them?

" If I say no, then it seems no one is interested in me. If I say yes, the recruiter might think I am a waste of his time because I'm about to accept an offer. I'm also a little worried about divulging the names of companies I'm pursuing on my own. Is this kind of recruiter pressure reasonable?..."

Nick's Reply

"Never subject yourself to pressure from a recruiter, simply because a good recruiter will never pressure you...." [Ask The Headhunter, June 7th, 2021]

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