BetaNews Staff

Is reinforcement (machine) learning overhyped?

machine learning AI

Imagine you are about to sit down to play a game with a friend. But this isn’t just any friend -- it’s a computer program that doesn’t know the rules of the game. It does, however, understand that it has a goal, and that goal is to win.

Because this friend doesn’t know the rules, it starts by making random moves. Some of them make absolutely no sense, and winning for you is easy. But let’s just say you enjoy playing with this friend so much that you decide to devote the rest of your life (and future lives if you believe in that idea) to exclusively playing this game.

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Diving into the essence of deception technology

You have probably heard about honeypots -- bait targets used to attract and detect hackers. In recent years, this technology has been upgraded and is now collectively called Deception.

Today, deception technology is represented by quite a few vendors. The most famous are Illusive Networks, TrapX, Fidelity Security Deception, and Cymmetria. In this article, I plan to talk about deception technology from the developer's point of view and tell you what makes it interesting. But first, let us talk about the forerunner of this technology -- honeypots.

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The UK government has tightened its cybersecurity rules, your business should too

secure payments lock

In late August, the UK government introduced new cybersecurity rules aimed at protecting telecommunication networks against cyber attacks. The rules, which allow the government to boost the security standards of the UK’s mobile and broadband networks, come at a time when attacks on critical infrastructure are becoming more frequent and more dangerous.

Earlier this year, for example, Costa Rica was thrown into crisis after a ransomware attack affected 30 government institutions, including critical ministries and its social security fund. The group behind the attack, known as Conti, threatened to overthrow the government unless the US$10 million ransom was paid. With the help of international partners -- including the United States, Israel, Spain, and Microsoft -- it was able to get all its systems back online, but it took weeks. Montenegro, meanwhile, also saw critical digital infrastructure crippled following a cyber attack blamed on state-sponsored actors. The attack effectively sent some government departments back to the analogue era and was still being wrestled with more than three weeks after it was first detected.    

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Collaboration technologies are essential to optimizing offices and remote employees for hybrid work

The methods and tools used to conduct office work are rapidly expanding to accommodate a wider range of worker situations and needs, including hybrid schedules and fully remote employees that each require different support structures to optimize workflows and communications. While the tasks and responsibilities of most workers haven’t changed, many people are adjusting to different physical spaces and expectations in terms of attending virtual meetings or collaborating with colleagues who traditionally shared a common workplace.

In order to help companies ensure consistent productivity regardless of worker location or situation, there are a number of new collaboration solutions that can help suit any budget, space or need.

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2022's most pressing cloud challenges

Despite the disruption and changes the pandemic unleashed on our world, technology continues to iterate through inevitable cycles of adaptation, innovation, and change. The worldwide shift to remote work, for example, placed a huge burden on IT infrastructure, ultimately quickening the pace of digital transformation. With this comes several challenges that IT leaders must navigate and balance.

According to the Foundry’s (formerly IDG Communications) 2022 Cloud Computing Survey, controlling cloud costs, data privacy and security, and securing expertise across in-house and supplier teams, are the three core challenges that will determine the success of cloud investments in the months and years to come. 

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Understanding how all businesses can benefit from voice analytics

voice recognition

Voice and speech analytics refers to the process of analyzing recorded conversations such as phone calls to gain insights into customer behavior and call quality, often utilizing AI by employing a Natural Language Processing (NLP) engine that uses context and emotional clues to determine more accurately what is being said.

In utilizing voice analytics solutions, businesses are now able to spot keywords and phrases, as well as detect sentiment and emotional context using pitch, pacing, and language clues to observe whether a conversation is going in the right direction or if it’s going downhill. By evaluating the tone of a customer’s voice, businesses can assess whether their customers are satisfied, annoyed, or upset. 82 percent of customers now consider no longer engaging with a business if they feel they have had a poor customer experience, so understanding potential issues before they arise may be the single most valuable thing a business can do to retain customers.

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How AI enables organizations to move from network monitoring to proactive observability

In today’s world, the volume of data and network bandwidth requirements are growing relentlessly. So much is happening in real-time as businesses adapt and advance to become more digital, which means the state of the network is constantly evolving. Meanwhile, users have high expectations around applications -- quick loading times, look and feel visually advanced, with feature-rich content, video streaming, and multimedia capabilities -- all of these devour network bandwidth.

With millions of users accessing applications and mobile apps from multiple devices, most companies today generate seemingly unmanageable volumes of data and traffic on their networks. 

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10 best practices for file management and archiving

File transfers

File management is crucial for businesses and organizations to minimize confusion and maintain document control. It’s important to have a system with a strategy in place that allows you to archive and store your files.

File archiving helps you monitor and manage your documentation. It acts as a collection of data that gives you access to multiple computer files and their data, making it easier to manage your records. To store and retrieve your documents, you want to develop practices that ensure operational excellence, syncing your data and simplifying the way it is archived.

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The real identity crisis: Why businesses must act on machine identities

Recent years have seen endless stories of human identity being exploited heavily in attacks. The malicious actors behind these attacks have compromised human identities (usernames, passwords and 2 factor authentication) to steal valuable data from countless companies and individuals. The COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to remote work dramatically increased the risks connected with human identities as people accessed corporate networks from many new locations and devices.

But while security departments have increased their investments in protecting human identities, many are still neglecting the risks connected with machine identities. Machines of all types including hardware, software and containers all need unique identities in order to connect and communicate securely, yet most businesses have very limited security controls in place to protect them. 

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What impact will EdTech have in the 2022-2023 school year?

Knowing where to invest is always something of a gamble. Things change quickly in today’s connected world, and what is hot today might completely fall off the radar tomorrow. It’s challenging to select companies with a realistic enough business model to bring impressive gains while maintaining the security of your investment.

It’s crucial to follow society’s trends. One of the biggest changes lately is how people learn, particularly children. Many parents expressed legitimate fears about sending their kids back to public school in a pandemic era, bringing the advent of new educational technologies to meet the needs of distance learners. This market looks hot, but tech stocks generally dip in a recession. Are these bulletproof? What impact will EdTech have in the 2022-2023 school year?

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How digital transformation and building APIs got faster

digital transformation

Digital transformation initiatives have been a top priority for several years in most companies. However, while such programs are considered a necessity for the long-term survival of most businesses, they haven’t always been prioritized or given the resources they deserve. 

That all changed with the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, according to analyst Gartner, customers expect companies to accelerate digital initiatives due to COVID-19 and all industries are experiencing widespread digitization. In turn, this is accelerating the adoption of thousands of new APIs. That’s because the drive to make services digital is no longer a nice to have but business critical. Even post COVID, with some businesses opting for a hybrid work environment, we are seeing that acceleration continue. Put simply, as they race to catch up, organizations are digitizing and innovating faster than ever before.

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Reducing the noise in your cybersecurity operation

security meter

What is the true cost of creating a robust cybersecurity defense for your organization? As cyberattacks accelerate around the world, organizations will continue to spend more money on security tools and services to shore up defenses. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, global cybersecurity spending overall will exceed $1.75 trillion from 2021-2025, anticipating a 15 percent year-over-year growth.

With the steady increase of budgets and IT spend, there is no denying the importance of investing in the people who run security operations. Enterprises often have an eclectic group of different vendor solutions added over time, sometimes with overlapping functionality and often with time-consuming onboarding and training requirements. Each cybersecurity product brings its own console, segmenting visibility, and threat correlation. The result is dangerous blind spots that leave enterprises vulnerable to damaging exploits. With the interminable shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals, we need to investigate ways to more efficiently leverage the talent that we already have. The vast workload is burning them out. At best, this leads to a loss of productivity. At worst, they leave for greener pastures, which translates into turnover costs.

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CDP: A priority in the evolution of ransomware recovery

ransomware laptop

The first ransomware appeared in 1989. It was distributed via floppy disks; its encryption could be easily reversed, and the ransom of $189 was to be paid to a PO box in Panama. Since those humble beginnings, ransomware has evolved into the massive international cybercrime it is today, that causes billions in damage to organizations big or small.

As new successful attacks are reported daily, it seems that the defenses against the ever more sophisticated attack vectors are lagging the attackers. As many organizations continue to struggle to defend themselves against ransomware, it is worth looking at the currently available technologies and how effective they are in combating it.

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The future is electric: Why electric cars will take over sooner than you think

Electric car charging

We’re currently experiencing a boom period in electric vehicles. Right now, the RAC estimates there are at least 456,000 battery electric cars on the roads up and down the UK, with one in eight new cars being plug-ins.

The UK government’s strategy to combat climate change involves planning to stop the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, and for them to be zero emission by 2035. While these goals may seem lofty if you’ve never considered even test-driving an electric vehicle, the sales and registration figures alone are encouraging enough that it’s possible.

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How BIPOC employees are impacted by workplace digital communication tools

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Earlier this year, Loom surveyed more than 3,000 working adults in the US and UK about their experiences and opinions surrounding digital communication tools at work. The report sheds light on how these tools -- from traditional email to modern video messaging -- impact team connection, employee engagement, productivity, and more.

Modern office workers want to forge genuine connections with colleagues and be seen, heard, and understood at work -- regardless of whether they’re fully remote or in-person. As a McKinsey report put it earlier this year, "it’s not about the office, it’s about belonging."

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