Ransomware: These Warning Signs Could Mean You're Already Under Attack
Since the average ransomware attack can take anywhere from 60 to 120 days to move from the initial security breach to the delivery of the actual ransomware, hundreds of companies could have hackers hiding in their networks at any time, getting ready to trigger their network-encrypting malware. So what are the early indicators for companies that are trying to spot a ransomware attack before they cause too much damage? Any what should they do if they discover an attack in progress? (Read Article: ZDNet, 8/11/20)
Lyft & Uber Threaten to Suspend Operations in California Due to AB5
Both Uber and Lyft have announced that they may be forced to suspend operations in California, for at least several months, after a California superior court judge ruled that both on-demand ride service companies must abide by Assembly Bill 5 to reclassify their drivers as employees. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that "it's hard to believe we'll be able to switch our model to full-time employment quickly," and Lyft President Josh Zimmerman said that California voters can "vote yes on Prop 22." A lawsuit was brought against Uber by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with city attorneys from Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, to force Uber and Lyft to comply with AB5. (Read Articles: socaltech, 8/13/20 and 8/12/20)
3 Technology Priorities Emerge Out of the Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has placed new pressures on the CIO and the role technology plays in the business. "We're living at work" instead of working from home, said Mike Wisler, CIO of M&T Bank, while speaking on a Forbes CIO Summit digital panel. The distinction emphasizes how little control companies had over the rapid transformation of operations. Remote work became a necessity instead of an option, placing new pressures on leadership.
Three technology priorities have emerged out of the pandemic, according to Karalee Close, Global Leader, technology advantage at BCG: Securing operations, including safeguards for employees and securing remote work; Digital acceleration; and Business resilience. The coronavirus spurred a wakeup call for digital capabilities at the forefront of the technology stack and 80% of companies expect to accelerate digital transformation efforts, said Close, speaking on a Summit panel. (Read Article: CIO Dive, 8/11/20)
As E-Commerce Booms, Robotic Arms Pick Up Human Slack
While companies such as FedEx, DHL, UPS, and Amazon have long relied on billions of dollars' worth of automation to get packages to customers quickly - from conveyors that divert packages down one path or another, to guided vehicles that shuttle about entire shelves of goods - robot arms are something different. And now they're the first arms of their kind to ever appear in a FedEx facility, and among the earliest examples of the day-to-day use of this technology anywhere in the world. These robots typify an important and growing trend in automation in general, and robotics in particular. What's new here is that existing machines are getting both "eyes" and "brains" that allow them to sense and respond. (Read Article: Wall Street Journal, 8/8/20)
What's Different About Hiring Data Scientists in 2020?
Historically, data science hiring practices evolved from software engineering. A hallmark of software engineering interviewing is the dreaded brain teaser, puzzles like "How many golf balls would fit inside a Boeing 747?" or "Implement the quick-sort algorithm on the whiteboard." Candidates will study for weeks or months for these and the hiring website Glassdoor has an entire section devoted to them. In data science, the traditional coding brain teaser has been supplemented with statistics ones as well - "What is the probability that the sum of two dice rolls is divisible by three?" But companies are starting to realize that these brain teasers are not terribly effective and have started cutting down their usage. In their place, firms are focusing on project-based data assessments. These ask data science candidates to analyze real-world data provided by the company. Rather than having a single correct answer, project-based assessments are often more open-ended, encouraging exploration. Interviewees typically submit code and a write-up of their results. These have a number of advantages, both in terms of form and substance. (Read Article: TechCrunch, 8/12/20)
TECHNOLOGY & GOVERNMENT
Tech Giants Back Legal Challenges to Trump's Foreign Worker Restrictions
Top U.S. tech firms filed a legal brief recently backing a challenge to President Trump's temporary ban on the entry of certain foreign workers to preserve jobs for Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. In the brief, filed in a lawsuit brought in California by major U.S. business associations, the companies argued that the visa restrictions will hurt American businesses, lead employers to hire workers outside the U.S., and further damage the already struggling U.S. economy. Trump issued a presidential proclamation in June that suspended the entry of a range of foreign workers until the end of the year, a move his administration said would free up jobs for unemployed Americans amid the economic fallout of the pandemic. Among those affected by the temporary ban are skilled foreign workers entering on H-1B visas and managers and specialized workers being transferred within a company on L visas - both visa types used by tech companies. (Read Article: Reuters, 8/10/20)
Trump Orders TikTok's Chinese-owned Parent Company to Divest Interest in US Operations
President Trump issued an executive order on August 14 directing ByteDance, the Chinese-owned parent company of TikTok, to divest interest in the app's US operations within the next 90 days. Trump explained in the order that he believes there is "credible evidence" that ByteDance "might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States" following the company's acquisition of the social media app Musical.ly. The step marks just the latest twist in the dramatic back and forth between the popular video app and the President after he declared last month that he would ban TikTok from operating in the US. Trump issued an executive order last week that would ban the app from operating in the US in 45 days if it is not sold. But Aug. 14's order specifically directs ByteDance to destroy all data obtained from US TikTok owners and inform the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US once it has done so. (Read Article: CNN, 8/15/20)
Meanwhile, a Wall Street Journal article from August 11th - TikTok Tracked User Data Using Tactic Banned by Google - reports that TikTok skirted a privacy safeguard in Google's Android operating system to collect unique identifiers from millions of mobile devices, data that allows the app to track users online without allowing them to opt out.
Plus, Microsoft's TikTok Acquisition Presents Both Political & Technical Challenges
Microsoft's bid to carve out parts of TikTok from its Chinese owner ByteDance will be a technically complex endeavor that could test the patience of President Trump's administration, according to sources familiar with the setup. Trump has given Microsoft until Sept. 15 to put together a blueprint for an acquisition that safeguards the personal data of Americans stored on the short-video app, and he has issued an order to ban it if there is no deal by then. (Read Article: Venture Beat, 8/10/20)
Corporate America Worries WeChat Ban Could Be Bad for Business
U.S. companies whose fortunes are linked to China are pushing back against the Trump administration's plans to restrict business transactions involving the WeChat app from Tencent Holdings Ltd., saying it could undermine their competitiveness in the world's second-biggest economy. More than a dozen major U.S. multinational companies raised concerns in a recent call with White House officials about the potentially broad scope and impact of Mr. Trump's executive order targeting WeChat, set to take effect late next month. Apple Inc., Intel Corp., Ford Motor Co., Walmart Inc., and Walt Disney Co. were among those participating in the call, according to people familiar with the situation. (Read Article: Wall Street Journal, 8/13/20)