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March Dinner Meeting Recap E-mail
Written by George Orlin   

Artificial Intelligence: Driving Exponential Innovation

While countless organizations and companies invest in increasingly advance cyber-security measures, the human user has remained the weakest link in the entire structure.

March Speaker


While countless organizations and companies invest in increasingly advance cyber-security measures, the In our latest AITP Atlanta dinner meeting, Gregory Evans, an often-televised cyber-security thought leader, addressed the challenges associated with establishing true protection against data theft and malicious hacking when the penetration often occurs at the user level. Ultimately, effective protection against cyber-attacks and "hacking" requires cyber-awareness at the user level; to become "cyber-aware", means that you need to start thinking like a hacker.

Hacking 101


In an effort to help the group to start to think like a hacker, Gregory addressed the typical five-stage process of hacking:
uman user has remained the weakest link in the entire structure.

 

Hacking


Reconnaissance: This is the primary phase where the Hacker tries to collect as much information as possible about the target. It includes Identifying the Target, finding out the target's IP Address Range, Network, DNS records, etc.

Scanning: It involves taking the information discovered during reconnaissance and using it to examine the network. Tools that a hacker may employ during the scanning phase can include dialers, port scanners, network mappers, sweepers, and vulnerability scanners. Hackers are seeking any information that can help them perpetrate attack such as computer names, IP addresses, and user accounts.

Penetration: Vulnerabilities discovered during the reconnaissance and scanning phase are now exploited to gain access. The method of connection the hacker uses for an exploit can be a local area network (LAN, either wired or wireless), local access to a PC, the Internet, or offline. Examples include stack based buffer overflows, denial of service (DoS), and session hijacking.

Advance: Once a hacker has gained access, they want to keep that access for future exploitation and attacks. Sometimes, hackers harden the system from other hackers or security personnel by securing their exclusive access with backdoors, rootkits, and Trojans. Once the hacker owns the system, they can use it as a base to launch additional attacks. In this case, the owned system is sometimes referred to as a zombie system.

Covering Tracks: Once hackers have been able to gain and maintain access, they cover their tracks to avoid detection by security personnel, to continue to use the owned system, to remove evidence of hacking, or to avoid legal action. Hackers try to remove all traces of the attack, such as log files or intrusion detection system (IDS) alarms. Examples of activities during this phase of the attack include steganography, the use of tunneling protocols, and altering log files.

In summary, a number of cybersecurity technologies and measures can be implemented to hedge against the risk of a hacking incident as described above. However, cyber-awareness remains one of the most effective measures to protect against damaging breaches.

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About AITP Atlanta

Does emerging technology fascinate and inspire you? Are you looking to learn more about high-tech including artificial intelligence, blockchain, and cybersecurity?

Then we have some great news… AITP Atlanta is shaping up to be the premier forum of discovery and innovative thinking for local technologists in 2019. We’d like to invite you to join a tight network of professionals, just like you, on the journey to the cutting-edge of the possible across the technology industry.

AITP Cityscape

Association of IT Professionals (AITP) is the leading association for technology professionals, students and educators. Join us to build your professional network, strengthen your technical knowledge and soft skills, develop a personal career path, and keep current on technology and business trends. Be part of the community that continues to push technology forward and join thousands of other tech professionals as an AITP member.

See you at our next dinner event!

 

 
February Dinner Meeting Recap E-mail
Written by George Orlin   

Artificial Intelligence: Driving Exponential Innovation

Have you ever thought to yourself: "What would it be like for someone from the 1700's if they were dropped into 2019?"

AI Dashboard


Tim Urban, American futurist and creator of the inquisitive and cheeky blog Wait But Why, asked himself the same question. His answer? They would simply die, overwhelmed with the enormous amount of progress. This concept would become known as DPU, or "Die Progress Units": the amount of innovation and progress that needs to occur before a previously unexposed audience simply dies upon being exposed to the innovation.

Artificial Intelligence: The driving force towards the next DPU

 

AI Attendees


In our most AITP dinner, Alex Vayner, Data Science & Artificial Intelligence Leader at Capgemini, explored what we could expect from the next "DPU" that would likely occur in the dramatically short time between now and 2030, primarily due to the explosion of progress in artificial intelligence and cognitive automation. Alex described a near future where AI would augment and enhance human capabilities, from driving vehicles to making better business decisions. Many were left asking the question, "what really is the magic behind AI that could bring these ideas to fruition?"

Alex's explanation was that AI is a collection of mathmatic and statistical algorithms aimed at answering specific questions, from understanding natural spoken language to identifying an emotion in an Instagram image.

AI Instagram

 

Additionally, the reason that AI is becoming more prevalent in recent years, is due to a perfect alignment of several factors that have set the scene to turn mathematical theory from the 50's into a reality in 2019. These factors include:

AI Factors

Over the next 50 years, we will likely experience incredible progress in the realm of AI. Imagine machine generated New York Times bestsellers appearing in 25 years, robotic surgeons in 35 years, and computer-automated math research in 45 years. Our ability to innovate is exponentially increasing with the power of cognitive computing.

Sounds great, so how does this all work?

Under the hood of AI

Today, for AI to deliver the right answer to our questions, it will need carefully curated algorithms and an enormous amount of training data. These algorithms are first represented in code using high-level programming languages such as Python, Scala, and R. The algorithms are then deployed onto powerful compute hardware such as GPUs and refined using very large sets of annotated training data. As the GPUs power through millions and billions of records of this training data, the machine "learns", and the confidence level of the algorithms is continuous measured until the algorithms are able to consistently annotate unannotated data correctly.

This process is typically facilitated by a data science team, referred to by Alex as a "POD". The POD consists of four different experts, with specific responsibilities necessary to produce a meaningful AI solution. A typical "POD" might look like this:

AI Pod

Some of the titles in this "POD" are probably familiar to you. In fact, countless economic sources state that they are amongst the most desirable and in-demand jobs in 2019.

About AITP Atlanta

Does emerging technology fascinate and inspire you? Are you looking to learn more about high-tech including artificial intelligence, blockchain, and cybersecurity?

Then we have some great news… AITP Atlanta is shaping up to be the premier forum of discovery and innovative thinking for local technologists in 2019. We’d like to invite you to join a tight network of professionals, just like you, on the journey to the cutting-edge of the possible across the technology industry.

AITP Cityscape

Association of IT Professionals (AITP) is the leading association for technology professionals, students and educators. Join us to build your professional network, strengthen your technical knowledge and soft skills, develop a personal career path, and keep current on technology and business trends. Be part of the community that continues to push technology forward and join thousands of other tech professionals as an AITP member.

 

 
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