AI

Crucial Tech: Madison Horn and the inflection point for Congress

We are at an inflection point in the US Congress. For decades technology companies have been given free rein to advance and innovate without concern for the negative impact of what they produce. That honeymoon seems to be over, but their lobbying power has kept the weight of regulation relatively far from them.

Last week, the House Financial Services Committee advanced the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act, also known as the FIT Act, to the House floor for debate and approval.

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RSAC Reporter’s Notebook: Change is coming

The cybersecurity industry is just absolute chaos, and rightly so.  This is the industry charged with plugging dikes during the Class-5 hurricane that the internet seems to be today.  Nowhere is that chaos more evident than at RSAC just from a marketing perspective. Everyone has “ground-breaking”, “industry-leading”, and “first ever” product offerings and this year was no different.  But if you can look past the Macho-man impersonations, Formula One cars, and the mesmerizing miasma of the website and show floor, you can see an order forming in the chaos. Change is coming.

Back to step one

RSA CEO Rohit Ghai, said we have missed a step in AI development.  “We’ve seen it first as a co-pilot alongside of a human pilot and then see it taking over flying the plane.”  He said the first step is making it an advanced cockpit making it easier for less trained and experienced people to do the work.  He pointed out that cybersecurity is an industry with negative employment making it difficult to find experienced technicians to do the work.

Last year, any discussion of ethical development was met with confused stares. This year, the need for ethical AI development is taken seriously but few can see a profit in it. Cybersecurity VC Rob Ackerman (DataTribe) and Carmen Marsh, CEO of the United Cybersecurity Alliance, were open to suggestions,

“From the perspective of (companies like OpenAI), I understand the reasons to go as fast as they can to develop a true artificial intelligence, the question is, who are the people in the room guiding the process?” said Ackerman. “Once you get a diverse set of advisors working on the problem, then you do the best you can to create something ethical.  But right now, we aren’t even doing the best we can.”

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Third-party security is almost impossible

There are many themes arising for the RSA Conference next week including tools and services to protect against originating with unsecured third parties in the supply chain. That is a crucial issue in every industry especially with almost every company doing business with a supplier in the cloud. But the scope of the problem is almost impossible to resolve. The reasons are myriad.

With every Fortune 1000 business and government agency doing business with tens of thousands of third-party suppliers, the odds of finding one chink in the security protocols are very good for the criminals and state actors looking to do damage.

Social engineering can easily bypass the strongest technical defenses. It only takes a single lapse in digital hygiene to open the door to man-in-the-middle attacks, invite malware injections, and launch credential stuffing. It is also the favorite strategy of ransomware gangs.

Ransomware grabs headlines and remains highly lucrative for ransomware gangs. When compared to other forms of cybercrime, however, ransomware is really a minor issue. There are more than 33 million small businesses (under $100 million in revenue) operating in the United States alone representing 99 percent of all businesses. However, according to a study produced by the Black Kite Research and Intelligence Team, less than 5000 of them experienced a successful ransomware attack in the last 12 months...

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