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Establish consistent business language and improve trust in your data

Establish consistent business language and improve trust in your data

Today we announce the Dataplex business glossary, now available in public preview. Dataplex is an intelligent data fabric that provides a way to manage, monitor, and govern your distributed data at scale. Dataplex business glossary offers users a cloud-native way to maintain and manage their business terms and definitions, establishing consistent business language, improving trust in data, and enabling self-serve use of data.

In enterprises, small, medium, or large, there are many different teams. Each team, over time, develops its own language. For example, for a corporate team, “customer” could mean “legal entity,” whereas for the central platform team, it could be individuals/legal entities/government entities, etc. This dissonance can lead to collaboration challenges and, worse, to misinterpretation of data and affect insights and decisions. This dissonance also prevents users unfamiliar with the area from having a self-service path, leaving them dependent on tribal knowledge in the organization. Navigating it introduces manual overhead and makes it hard to stay updated with changes. 

With Dataplex business glossary, users can now :

capture their business terminology within glossaries and terms

enrich cataloged data entries with this business terminology by attaching defined terms to data entry columns

describe semantic relationships between terms by establishing cross-term associations.

Dataplex business glossary supports data practitioners in several ways. Firstly, it promotes semantic consistency in defining and interpreting data across teams, which helps to minimize redundancy and reduce the possibility of confusion and misinterpretation when consuming data. For example, with a centrally curated definition of the term ‘retail transaction,’ when two teams produce two different data assets capturing details of retail transactions, they would structure these data assets consistently according to the defined terminology.

Semantic consistency,in turn, reinforces understanding of and trust in data. When attached to data assets, glossary terms provide an additional layer of centrally curated and consistent business context that allows users to confidently establish  the degree to which the data assets fit for their purpose. In the above example of customer data, an analyst searching for “show me all customer tables” does not have to worry about varying interpretations for identified data assets, i.e., whether they refer to personal customers or legal entities, etc. With business glossary, the correct interpretation is established via associated glossary terms which provide the required context for these data assets and allow the analyst to identify the relevance of discovered data more reliably.

All the above then unlocks self-serve use of data, allowing users to leverage glossary content to discover data assets (e.g. through search queries like “Show me all entries which attached glossary terms referencing ‘retail transaction’ anywhere in their definitions” – note how search can address varying term metadata, including descriptions and associated Data Stewards, when identifying data assets), understand the semantics of these data assets, and consequently – identify applicable usage scenarios for these data assets.

Additionally, Dataplex business glossary can support data governance, with data governance teams using glossary context for informing data governance policy configuration decisions. For example, these teams can consider data assets associated with glossary terms referencing “customer” for additional access control policies related to customer data handling. 

In summary, you can leverage the Dataplex business glossary alongside  the broad set of Dataplex data governance capabilities to enable users to establish a common and consistent business language, strengthen trust in data, promote self-serve use, and get value from your data.

How do I get started?

To get started with Dataplex business glossary, visit the Glossaries tab in Dataplex. You can capture business terminology by defining glossaries, terms, and cross-term relationships. 

You can then associate cataloged entries with defined terms as you browse data entries in Dataplex Search.

Once glossary content is defined and associated with data entries, you can leverage glossary content in discovery and search. 

For more information:

Learn how to use Dataplex business glossary

Visit Dataplexon Google Cloud

Source : Data Analytics Read More

3 AI-Based Strategies to Develop Software in Uncertain Times

3 AI-Based Strategies to Develop Software in Uncertain Times

AI technology is becoming increasingly important for software developers. We talked about some of the ways software developers can create successful AI applications. However it is equally important to use existing AI tools strategically to improve the quality of the software app lications that you are trying to design.

AI Technology is Driving Major Changes in Software Development in an Uncertain Economy

As 2022 is slowly coming to an end, we can’t say this is precisely what we thought the business environment would look like five years ago. The coronavirus pandemic has left its consequences, and the war between Russia and Ukraine is still raging. Cryptocurrency prices have plummeted  — another clear indicator of turbulent times. A looming recession and the Great Resignation are other factors strongly impacting the landscape.

So, how can one create software with as little risk as possible?

Desperate times call for smart measures, which we’ve discussed and decided to present to you. The good news is that AI technology can make the process easier. Here are the three most important AI assets for software development.

1.   Smart teams governed by AI

The chances of failing in software development are the smallest when a smart team stands behind the project. A smart team is a strong asset composed of experts who know their own role and do their best.

What makes a smart team so special that it’s vital for software development in uncertain times?

First of all, a smart team is a self-sufficient unit. A well-organized and well-led team can construct software and follow it through all stages of the software development cycle, keeping track of the results and reacting timely. With the right smart team, you’re more or less set for the entire production process.

Regarding the team member roles, you’ll probably need a good solution architect for starters. The architect will cover the gap between stakeholders and the tech part of your business, ensuring the investors and developers are on the same page. They also cover the money matters, i.e., set the budget for the software building. Needless to say, this is one of the crucial steps in the project.

While team leads are important for recognizing talent, supervision, preventing burnout, and providing support, among other things, “regular” team members are just as important too. You should always strive to set up a team of successful professionals with different cognitive backgrounds. That should ensure innovation when it comes to both creating software and resolving potential issues.

However, the organization of the team is not enough on its own. AI technology can help project managers monitor their team more effectively. They can see how their teams are interacting and whether certain members are missing deadlines or making consistent errors. As we stated in the past, AI-based employee monitoring technology can boost engagement and improve the quality of work.

In a nutshell, a smart team should lead you through all the hardships much better than unlimited access to funds.

2.   Mixed reality

In times of chaos, do you really have enough funds to build test models, organize accurate product testing with clients before you start selling, or spend time and money on fixing the potential issues that may or may not occur? Mixed reality tools can save you both time and money, as well as improve your overall business and help you beat the competition.

AI technology has made virtual reality more effective than ever. When used appropriately, it can significantly improve your overall ROI. The best way to use it is by modifying it to mixed reality.

A mixed reality experience gives you a mix of virtual and physical reality. For instance, you could test your software by allowing the end consumer to try it out in mixed reality. That way, they can spot the advantages and downsides, and you can get the precious feedback sooner than later — all without wasting money on placing the product on the market and advertising it.

This reality uses AI to provide a more personal experience, so it’s great for product testing, meetings, and conferences. A hologram experience is definitely more memorable than a simple laptop presentation. In addition, it opens doors to innovation as it encourages a person to have multiple points of view. Having a new perspective on familiar topics is definitely engaging.

As technology advances, the costs of mixed reality decrease, and it’s becoming more accessible to even the typical consumer. You should definitely lead in this respect instead of falling behind.

Mind you, your competition is already using AI-driven mixed reality for training purposes, quality assessment, hiring new software engineers, and many other uses. The mixed reality market will grow at a 77% CAGR by 2028. If you haven’t introduced it to your software development team, you’d better do it soon, or you may start lagging behind your competitors.

3.   Reliable cybersecurity team

What’s one of the things tough times have in common? Cyber attacks. So much so that even the US government has reacted with a warning.

The official announcement on CISA’s website clearly outlines the increased risks of cyber attacks. While Ukraine and Russia seem to be at a cyber war of their own, US businesses are also in danger of cyber incidents. CISA has officially recommended that all organizations, regardless of their size, prepare for cybersecurity breaches.

If your software is going to collect clients’ sensitive data (as it does in most cases), having a data leak scandal is the worst possible scenario in an unstable environment. At such times, people feel wary and are more prone to feeling panicky when their personal data is unveiled. As a result, your reputation may be gone for good.

Someone stealing your innovative software development information could break your business too. The environment is already as fast-paced as it is, so detrimental consequences come much faster.

With this in mind, your cybersecurity team will be your pillar of defense against a surge of malware and other digital hazards.

How do you create or improve your cybersecurity team? It’s an excellent time to get updated about the cybersecurity expert role. For instance, having a degree in cybersecurity isn’t necessary since most colleges only offer those as master’s studies. However, solid tech knowledge, experience with different tools, and good programming skills are a must.

We’re living in a constantly changing world that has transformed quite a bit in the last couple of years. Unfortunately, the major changes that affected the whole world are far from beneficial — they’ve made us think of going into survival mode rather than feeling thankful. Software development, like any other digital business, is especially submissive to economic changes. Hopefully, by focusing on the above software development advice, your software business should not just survive the troubling times but come out victorious.

AI technology is also invaluable for cybersecurity. We published an article two years ago on the ways AI is helping with cybersecurity and it has become even more important since.

AI Has Become Essential for Software Developers

A growing number of software developers are forced to utilize AI technology to improve their operations. They will need to rely on AI even more in the near future, since the economic outlook is far from positive.

Source : SmartData Collective Read More

5 Proven Tips for Utilizing AI with PPC Advertising in 2023

5 Proven Tips for Utilizing AI with PPC Advertising in 2023

Every year, we hear new stories about how artificial intelligence technology is becoming more integral to the marketing profession. In 2022, one of the biggest breakthroughs ever was the emergence of AI art.

However, there are other benefits of AI in marketing that get less publicity. One of them is the use of AI in PPC marketing. As we have stated in the past, AI has led to both new opportunities and complications in the field of PPC advertising. So, how can marketers use AI strategically to get the most bang for their buck?

How Can You Use AI in PPC Advertising, and Why is it Important to Do So?

AI technology is the backbone of many modern marketing strategies. As AI continues to change the marketing landscape, marketers will keep looking for new ways to automate various processes, reduce the scope of human error and lower costs.

One of the ways that marketers can benefit from AI is by using it to improve their PPC marketing campaigns. However, marketers that are not familiar with PPC should learn about the fundamentals first. We will discuss the basics of PPC in general, before delving into more detail on the benefits of utilizing AI in PPC marketing campaigns.

Basics of PPC Marketing

Every business owner knows that getting organic traffic is ideal. After all, it can mean their search engine optimization (SEO)  techniques are working. However, it may not be the ideal choice for all business entities. SEO efforts can take time. If you need to gain traffic and boost your sales, doing ads can help attract audiences, gain website traffic, and convert leads. 

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an online marketing strategy that involves paying for ad space on search engine results pages (SERPs) and other websites. It’s a common practice for marketers to pay for keywords that lead to their website, but you can also advertise on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter.

PPC ads are essential because they give you access to more customers than traditional forms of marketing like email or direct mail. It allows you to reach more people at lower costs per click than if you were using traditional methods. 

PPC ads can be even more useful when used in conjunction with AI. Let’s get into the meat of this topic.

Best Practices for Using AI for PPC Advertising

PPC advertising is a great way to drive traffic and sales for your business. The trick is getting the most out of each PPC advertisement, which can be difficult in today’s fast-paced digital world. 

Here are five best practices you should employ with AI. 

1.      Stay Updated on the Latest Trends in AI and Other Forms of Technology

The first thing you’ll want to do is stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the industry, especially regarding the ways that AI affects marketing. Find out what ticks your audiences. 

Amazon, Google and Microsoft are all leveraging AI technology in their PPC practices. One of the ways that AI is becoming more useful with their PPC platforms is by enabling automated targeting and helping marketers reach users with relevant keywords that they didn’t think to target.

AI can also help with third-party apps that can help your PPC strategy. For example, many marketers use third-party tools like SEMRush and Keyword Chef for finding keywords. AI helps make these processes easier.

There are also important trends in mobile technology to monitor. For example, it’s worth noting that 60% of mobile users click on a PPC ad once weekly. Given this information, you can adjust your strategies based on when these users are more likely to be more welcome to ads. 

You should also know what your target audience consumes at a given time. Look at trends so you can include these keywords in your ads. You can use tools to determine what and how often people are searching for these keywords. 

2.      Reviewing and Adjusting Budget

A budget review is one of the most overlooked aspects of running a PPC ad campaign. Audit the budget periodically and see if you’re still on track based on the outcomes of your marketing campaigns. A budget review allows you to measure the effectiveness of your strategy. Say you’re still far from your targets, and you’ve already used up your budget. This misalignment means it’s time for you to adjust your actions. 

Consider your return on investment (ROI) when adjusting—factor in all potential variables. For example, look at the current market that may have influenced the effectiveness of your ads. 

AI technology is also making it easier for marketers to optimize their advertising budgets. They can use AI to automate marketing strategies and track spending over time. They can also use predictive analytics to gauge changes based on seasonal patterns to predict traffic patterns and the number of clicks they will get on future months. Ahrefs, SEMRush and other PPC tools use AI for these purposes.

3.      Explore Additional Platforms Using AI Capabilities

Don’t hesitate to look beyond Google AdWords. Google is a great place to start and will give you access to millions of people who have shown interest in your product or service. However, other platforms can also help boost your PPC campaign performance.

Explore social media PPC ads. In 2021, the market earned $153 billion in revenue, with Facebook getting 21.5% of the social media PPC ad market. When it comes to the business-to-business (B2B) market, it will be best to focus on LinkedIn. 

You will want to do your due diligence when using these platforms because it is important to make sure that they can help you leverage AI technology wisely.

4.      Automate Processes

Automation is a great way to save time and boost efficiency. This is possibly the most important benefit of using AI for PPC advertising. However, ensure that you aren’t sacrificing quality in the process. Automating repetitive tasks can help you save time and money. For example, it would be best not to automate creative decisions or the entire PPC advertising process.

Automate those that are predictable and repeatable. If there’s one thing most advertisers know how to do well, it is knowing which keywords perform well on search engines so they can optimize their ads accordingly. This knowledge lends itself nicely to automation.

5.      Curate Content

You have to know your audience and the content they want. Refrain from spamming them with irrelevant or uninteresting content. Use curated lists instead of broad-topic keywords that include many unrelated products and services. 

For example, contracting companies can use a specific PPC advertising campaign that brings value to their audience, such as repairs, tools, and contracting services.  

When curating content for your PPC campaigns, think about what your customers search for in search engines. These searches serve as a guide when creating new ad copy so that it remains relevant.  

AI technology can help with content curation. There are a lot of effective ways to leverage AI to find the best performing content, which involves monitoring user engagement. Neil Patel has a great post on using AI to write PPC copy, which is just one of the many benefits it offers.

AI Offers Huge Benefits with PPC Marketing

PPC advertising is a great way to get your message heard. It’s also the most effective form of online marketing that brings bang for your buck. You can get even more value from your PPC strategies by using AI to your advantage.

Know the latest market trends

Audit and review budget

Try other ad platforms

Leverage automation

Make ad copy personal

AI technology can help immensely with all of these factors.

Source : SmartData Collective Read More

5 Ways AI Technology Has Disrupted Website Development

5 Ways AI Technology Has Disrupted Website Development

AI technology has significantly disrupted the world of business. According to a survey by IBM, 35% of companies report using AI.

But what are the best ways to leverage artificial intelligence? One of the most important is to use AI to improve the quality of your websites. A growing number of companies are using AI to improve the user experience of their websites, boost engagement and earn higher conversion rates.

AI Has Become Crucial for Web Design as User Expectations Rise

As more businesses adopt a digital approach, having a visually appealing website is essential for success. It only takes about 2.6 seconds for the eyes to spot the key areas of the website. 

However, a captivating design may not be enough with the ever-evolving consumer preference and industry standards. Your businesses must be at the forefront of innovation if you want a profitable and successful organization. 

The good news is that AI technology can help significantly improve the performance of your website. A website can help you reach a larger audience, generate more leads, and drive more sales. It can help you to position yourself as a credible and professional business. You will get even more bang for your buck if it has been optimized with machine learning technology.

Additionally, it can serve as a hub for your digital marketing efforts to reach more customers and grow your business.

5 Best Ways to Use AI for Website Development

This 2023 is the perfect time to ensure you’re up to date on the latest web development trends and can get the most out of your website.

Here are five AI-based website development best practices that you should consider for a successful 2023.

1.      Incorporate AI Chatbots

More and more people are aware of the increasing use of artificial intelligence, particularly chatbots. In fact, 62% of consumers will prefer using a chatbot if it means they can get answers to their queries faster. 

They can be highly effective tools for businesses. More and more companies are creating chatbots to connect with their customers on a one-on-one level. It’s an effective marketing strategy for increasing personalization. 

With AI chatbots, you can make your website more interactive and user-friendly. AI chatbots can answer customer questions, respond to product inquiries, send automated emails, and provide helpful information. 

2.      Prioritize Mobile-First Development

Data shows that 55.7% of users are on their mobile phones, accounting for 60% of the global web traffic. These numbers cement the idea that you shouldn’t ignore mobile users when developing web pages. 

By prioritizing mobile-first development when creating your website, you can ensure that every element is optimized for easy and intuitive use on mobile devices. These elements include your homepage, navigation, font size, images, and everything else on your site. 

You will want to use AI to make responsive design more feasible. A growing number of web development platforms incorporate responsive design modules that rely on machine learning.

3.      Focus on User-Friendly Web Designs

A website’s design is a crucial part of its success. It’s what your visitors see when they first arrive at your site, and they determine whether they stay or leave. 

A few key things to consider when designing your website include layout, visual elements, fonts, and colors. Also, your website design should be easy to navigate and provide clear and easy-to-read content. 

A good design can make a big difference in the success of your website. It should encourage your audience to take action by purchasing your products or signing up for your services. 

Again, this is where AI becomes very useful. You can use AI to design your website to be more user friendly.

4.      Explore Voice Search Optimization

You’re probably familiar with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. Yes, they’re no longer a hype. They are, in fact, quite common and will drive the digital market. Estimates show that voice assistant transaction values will hit $19.4 billion this year. 

While internet search engine optimization (SEO) is still essential to website development, voice search optimization is becoming increasingly important. It’s a trend you shouldn’t miss out on. 

Include the keywords and phrases people are likely to search for naturally throughout your website. Make sure to factor in your site’s title tags, meta descriptions, and content. This will ensure that your website shows up on the first page of results when people search for your product or service using voice.

5.      Speed Up Webpage Loading

The average user arrives at a website and leaves after only 5 seconds. Ensure that your site loads fast and can provide what customers need instantly.

A website’s load time is strongly associated with its success. Keep your website optimized for speed. Use smaller image sizes. 

If this isn’t possible because your site relies heavily on design, it might be best to have a dedicated server to handle the load. 

There are also a lot of ways to use AI technology to improve website loading times. We previously shared data-driven strategies for improving your website loading times for foreign traffic.

Keep your customers happy. Customers will visit the site often when you deliver a speedy service and provide them with a smooth experience.

Use AI to Improve Your Website Design

Website development is an ever-evolving process and a long-term investment. AI technology has significantly improved web design capabilities. Apply these AI practices to create a successful website for your business in 2023 and beyond.

Use AI-powered chatbots

Develop a mobile responsive website

Make designs user-friendly

Optimize for voice search

Make pages load faster

The results will be impressive!

Source : SmartData Collective Read More

Data Analytics Helps Marketers Substantially Boost Image SEO

Data Analytics Helps Marketers Substantially Boost Image SEO

Data analytics technology has become a very important element of modern marketing. One of the ways that big data is transforming marketing is through SEO.

We have previously talked about data-driven SEO. However, we feel that it is time to have a more nuanced discussion about using big data in SEO. You may want to leverage data analytics to improve the SEO of your images.

Data Analytics is Key to Improving the SEO of Your Images

Images are a big part of the internet, and they can also impact how well your website does in search engine results. Like any other kind of content, images can help or hurt your SEO. This means that pictures and other types of creative content can greatly affect how well search engines rank your website.

In this article, we will talk about how images relate to SEO and how to make sure they are working for you. We will later delve into some ways that you can use data analytics to improve the SEO of your images.

What Is Image SEO?

Image SEO is optimizing the images on your website for search engines. This means making it easy for search engines to understand and find your pictures, which can help your website rank higher in Google and other search engines.

Even though it’s often overlooked, Image SEO is important. If you don’t pay attention, your website may have trouble getting links, appearing in search results, and getting visitors.

5 Ways to Use Data Analytics to Improve SEO and Conversion Rates of Images

The good news is that you can greatly improve your image SEO by using big dat. Here are a few simple tips to get started.

1. Only Use Relevant, High-Quality Images

Images are also crucial for website design since they can quickly convey information. Research shows that our brains can process images in just 13 milliseconds. This means that using high-resolution images cannot only make your website look better, but it’s crucial in helping visitors understand and decide about your products more easily.

Improve the overall look of your website by using high-resolution images. You can use image upscaler, a tool that can significantly improve the overall quality of images on a website by increasing their resolution.

It makes the images appear sharper and more vibrant to website visitors, creating a more favorable impression of your site and its content. 

You can use data analytics to conduct split-tests to determine which images boost engagement. You may also find AI tools that recommend images that are best for your content.

2. Use Appropriate File Formats

Even though most internet browsers and devices can handle different image formats, it’s important to use the right ones for both usability and SEO. Using the wrong formats can make the images bigger and slow down your website. 

The four main image formats for websites are JPG, PNG, GIF, and SVG. Each is best for certain situations because they provide the highest quality while keeping the image small.

JPG format is perfect for real-life photos.

PNG format is ideal for digital graphics or illustrations.

GIF format is used for animated images, such as showing a graph change over time.

SVG format is great for vector graphics. This format is best for design elements on the website, like logos.

Analytics technology will help you assess the impact that different file formats will have on website load times and performance. You may want to try using big data tools like Pingdom to test these factors.

3. Optimize Image File Sizes

Improperly sized images can greatly slow down the loading time of a webpage. Since image SEO and page speed are closely related, it’s important to compress images properly to optimize them for search engines.

According to Squarespace, the best image size for full-width background images used in banners or the main section of a website is between 1500px and 2500px. 

While using large images may seem like a good idea to show off the quality, it’s unnecessary to go above 1500-2000 pixels. 

4. Craft Your Alt Text for a Human Audience

Alt text is important because they give Google more information about the image. Alt text also called alternative text or alt tag, is a description added to an image using HTML. This description is displayed if the image can’t be shown.

When describing your images with alt text, it’s important to be specific but not too long. A good way to think about it is to imagine you’re explaining the image to someone over the phone.

Try to use around 125 characters or less. This is because some tools that help people who can’t see well, called screen readers, will stop reading after that many characters.

It’s also a good idea to include keywords related to the image, but be careful not to overuse them, or it will look spammy.

You can use data mining tools like Accessibilityscripts.com and SEOptimer to find the alt tags of competitors. This can help you figure out which meta data is already working well.

5. Place Your Images Near Relevant Text

Google can more easily identify the image’s content by looking at the text near it. To improve the image’s visibility, place it close to relevant text and on pages related to the image’s subject.

Also, having images near relevant text helps to improve the readability of the content, as it helps to break up long blocks of text. This makes it easier for people to read and increases the chances that they will stay on the page to read the content.

Data Analytics Technology is Important for Improving SEO

Optimizing web graphics for SEO is a great way to ensure your site is as visible as possible in search engine results.  Fortunately, data analytics can help.

First impressions matter with the current online landscape, so using an image upscaler can help ensure that your website’s visuals are top-notch and world-class. This can help put your best foot forward in creating a professional and polished look for your website.

To recap, here are some image SEO strategies that use data analytics to ensure your site stands out from the crowd and generates more organic traffic:

Select images that are relevant and high-quality.

Choose file formats that are suitable for the web.

Reduce the file size of images for faster loading times.

Write alt text that accurately describes the image for accessibility.

Position images close to related text for better context and understanding.

This is one of the best ways to develop a data-driven marketing strategy.

Source : SmartData Collective Read More

Fortifying Enterprise Digital Security Against Hackers Weaponizing AI

Fortifying Enterprise Digital Security Against Hackers Weaponizing AI

The biggest threat to digital security is weaponized artificial intelligence (AI), which is ubiquitous and damaging. AI is neither good nor bad, but the people behind it can distinguish between AI being an asset or a threat. 

Cyber-attacks have grown in frequency and sophistication and have become more difficult to detect and stop. The profitability of hacking into data systems in the black market has propelled this threat, causing security experts to lag. 

Connected systems and hybrid teams working in different parts of the globe with varying levels of security make fortifying against ransomware, automated attacks, and phishing an ongoing challenge. How can digital security step up and safeguard networks to prevent data loss, manipulation, reputation damage, and plummeting revenue from unauthorized digital access?   

Methods hackers use to weaponize AI and solutions

Over the years, AI has enabled a better understanding of customer behavior, changed how businesses operate and predicted cyber threats. Cybersecurity experts use AI for malware detection, malicious IP blocking, and website classification. Another way to protect against attacks, especially with a business with numerous workstations, is to ensure secure file transfer.  

Secure file transfer solutions like secure file transfer protocol (SFTP), file transfer protocol secure (FTPS), and Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) provide encryption and authentication, making it difficult for hackers to gain access. Additionally, AI-powered intrusion detection systems can detect anomalous behavior, alerting security teams to suspicious activity.

A study among US and Japanese cybersecurity experts showed that 91% acknowledged the real threat that hackers can weaponize AI. They do so by doing the following:  

1.      Domain Name System (DNS) tunneling: Divert and steal data

When a computer wants to communicate with a remote server like Google, the query redirects to an IP address associated with Google. In an ideal world, this secure connection is faster thanks to multiple requests to Google’s DNS system and cache without breach.   

However, this is far from the truth. Research shows that cyber-attacks exposed 15M data records during the last quarter of 2022. Another appalling finding is that the rate of increase was 37% over the previous quarter. On average, companies lost USD$ 3.9 M globally, and the impact was USD$ 400B.   

Enterprising hackers have found a way to interrupt this pathway and divert that tunnel to another site, with the searcher unaware that they’re not accessing Google. What happens next is that the hacker’s server, now the authoritative server, can gain control of the victim’s server remotely, infecting it and its application with malware.   

This compromised system is vulnerable to downloading malicious traffic, data theft, and spreading malware through file sharing within the network’s computer system. Remember that all these are undetected. 

How to fortify the system against DNS tunneling

DNS Tunnelling attacks are unsafe because of leaks from stolen data and using DNS to connect and control the compromised server through remote access trojan. Here’s how you can strengthen your system:  

Prevent hacker intrusion by setting up a DNS firewall. 

Be aware of unfamiliar sources of IP addresses or domain names. 

Use an internal DNS server for the queries of internal clients to filter out malicious domains.  

Move to more secure cloud services  

DNS Solution that can detect threats in real-time. 

Implementing these measures is critical to safeguard your digital assets. 

2.      Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks  

In a DDoS attack, a cybercriminal floods an exposed network with requests that overwhelm its bandwidth. The whole system, from the server to the networks, slows or completely shuts down when exhausted by bad traffic; it can’t take any incoming queries. 

As fake traffic overwhelms the bandwidth of the hosted website, it won’t receive legitimate requests. This means that email, chat, or anything connected to the internet suffers. In a sense, this is similar to adrenal exhaustion in humans.   

DDoS attacks are a real threat because of how easy it is for criminals to pull this off. Experts believe that by 2023, DDoS attacks will exceed 15M, double its rate in 2018. The projected cost per attack is USD$2M for big businesses and USD$120K for small to medium enterprises.  

How To Fortify the System Against DDoS Attacks

Cybercriminals can quickly attack a network, but you can keep your assets safe with these measures: 

Periodically run a traffic analysis.  

Increase bandwidth (not a standalone solution and must be paired with other solutions). 

Use one or more Content Delivery Network (CDN) solutions to filter malicious requests and distribute incoming traffic to different servers across many locations. 

Offer a network of points of presence (POPs).   

Choose a web host that includes server-level DDoS tools to mitigate any attack.  

Use a cloud-based or hybrid solution.  

Outsource DDoS prevention.  

Ensure your team is prepared to deal with the attack. Your incident plan should include contacting your internet provider and prioritizing essentials to retain online.  

Be vigilant about early warning signs of an attack on your business.  

Optimize your firewall and router configuration to block volume attacks.  

These measures are your first line of defense. Still, you can ensure you keep your network safe by working with a reliable service provider. 

3.      Man-in-the-middle (MiTM) Attacks   

This technique puts the attacker between two parties. Once cybercriminals breach the session between the client and host (or user and application), they can steal your data. In addition, the client remains unaware that the communication is going through the hacker.  

The usual targets are e-commerce sites, financial institutions, and other applications requiring a login. Once an attacker acquires the login details, they can steal personal information, including your customers’ credit card numbers. The consequences are dire, with identity theft enabling fund transfers and other transactions.  

The attack itself proceeds in two stages:  

Interception stage 

This stage can happen with the use of free public Wi-Fi. Once the unsuspecting victim logs in and does work-related tasks using the free Wi-Fi hotspot offered by the attacker, this can result in sensitive information leaking. 

Here are ways cyber threats use to intercept your information: 

IP spoofing: The attacker changes packet headers in the IP address. Once disguised as an application, users are led to a bogus website.   

ARP spoofing: The attacker’s MAC address is linked to a user on a local area network and leads to data transmitted to the attacker instead of the host.  

DNS spoofing: This is called DNS cache poisoning. Users wanting to access the site are sent to the attacker’s site.   

Decryption stage 

Decryption happens through the following:  

HTTP spoofing: A type of cyber-attack where a malicious actor sends a forged HTTP request to a web server to make it think the request came from a trusted source.   

SSL hijacking: An attacker intercepts secure communications between two parties and alters the transmitted data. 

SSL stripping: Attackers downgrade an HTTPS connection to an unencrypted HTTP connection. The attacker can view, modify, and capture any data sent over the connection. 

Remember that a cyber-attack isn’t just a single attack. Usually, it’s a concerted attack using different methods. Knowing these stages means knowing what happens next and how you can best fortify your system. 

How to fortify the system against MiTM attacks 

Don’t use public Wi-Fi networks when sensitive information, especially login information, is exposed. After you finish your business, disconnect from the network immediately. But most importantly, ensure that the sites you visit are secure.  

Other ways to secure enterprise digital security  

With offices becoming mobile, enterprise systems have become more vulnerable. Though weaponized AI can inflict much damage, doing the following can increase the level of security of your server and network:  

Use defensive cybersecurity solutions (firewall, antivirus software, and other security measures). 

Use threat and detection solutions.  

Ensure that all employees using the system are trained and vigilant about cyberattacks. For instance, they should open emails from reliable sources. 

Change passwords often, and don’t use one password many times.  

Update network OS, applications, and devices to the latest version.  

Use a secure workspace solution with secure file sharing.   

Use a VPN even when accessing through a public WIFI.  

Use NAS and backup data regularly.  

Outsource network protection. 

Consider a Single Sign On (SSO) system and two-factor authentication company-wide. 

Use Content Delivery Network (CDN) solution. 

Employ one or more security measures to protect your business from cybersecurity attacks. 

Conclusion 

Weaponized AI is prevalent globally and affects small and large firms alike. Cybercriminals can use AI to enter a loophole in your network and impersonate you so they can steal data, direct your clients to their website and modify commands. 

But you can protect your system by securing it with a firewall and using VPNs, secure file transfer solutions, and CDN solutions. There’s always the human factor, so everyone in the enterprise should be aware of the signs of an impending attack and with it.

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Four Strategies For Effective Database Compliance

Four Strategies For Effective Database Compliance

Modern data is an increasingly overwhelming field, with new information being created and absorbed by businesses every second of the day. Instead of drawing in the sheer speed of production that we’re encountering, many businesses have moved into effective data management strategies. Of all of those tactics, storing structured data in databases is by far one of the most effective.

However, if a business doesn’t manage its databases efficiently, they become tedious to manage and unproductive to work with. That’s where database compliance comes in, ensuring that all the information you need to access is only a click away.

If you’re looking for faster, securer, and databases that readily produce the information you’re looking for, these strategies are for you. We’ll touch on the following database compliance methods:

Developer Compliance Frameworks and Education

Clearly Acknowledge the Data You Collect

Have a Breach Recovery and Management Strategy

Personal Data Should Have a Protection Strategy

Developer Compliance Frameworks and Education

As your company grows, the amount of data that you’re going to be handling will equally increase. Yet, another factor that people seem to overlook is that the number of data architects you employ will also begin to rise alongside other areas of growth. While new employees in this field are wonderful for ensuring all your data processes are up to scratch, onboarding them should have a level of precaution in it.

When onboarding a new employee, you cannot expect them to understand your company’s form of database compliance right from the beginning. While there are a number of key database compliance regulations that everyone will follow, like GDPR and privacy laws, your business may do things a little differently.

Beyond just aligning with good database practices, every business organizes and interacts with compliance differently. In your onboarding process, you should have documentation that clearly outlines how new developers are expected to interact with, respond to, and detect data events. Without this in place, your team will be scrambled whenever a breach or crisis event occurs.

Always have education in place to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Clearly Acknowledge the Data You Collect

Privacy notices are vital when dealing with any customer data. If someone doesn’t agree to have their data collected, you’re not able to do so without seriously setting your business up for a lawsuit. Creating a privacy policy should be one of the first steps you take in order to ensure all of your databases are compliant with regulations.

Of course, if you don’t have any privacy notice, then all the data you collect and store in a database will cause difficulties for you in the future. It is mandatory to understand what data you collect, how you use it, where you’re storing it, and how long you keep it. Without the answers to these questions, you’re unable to craft an effective privacy notice and share it with your customers.

Most of the time, customers won’t even read this notice. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really matter on your end. You must always write and distribute a detailed privacy policy to customers.

Have a Breach Recovery and Management Strategy

No matter how effective your database security is or how advanced the level of cybersecurity you have, there is going to be a time when you’re facing a data breach event or scare. The difference between a company that is compliant in these disaster scenarios and those that have effective response criteria in place.

Database compliance goes beyond just holding data. It also requires that customers that have data exposed in a breach are notified promptly, as decreed by the GDPR. You should spend time designing a response framework that your business will follow. There are two main areas to work on here:

Internal Response – Ensure that your data team knows what to do, which backups to draw from, and which data they must protect in the event of a crisis. You should not waste time discussing what should be done, with a pre-outlined response format that all engineers know, helping you get the upper hand during a disaster event.

External Response – You need to design a communications system that will notify everyone involved in a breach. Pick the medium of communication, the messaging you use, and the extent of information that you share with them.

With this in place, you’ll be in a much better position in the event of a data breach.

Personal Data Should Have a Protection Strategy

Our final tip for database compliance is one that’s often overlooked, but one that is vital to the long-term success of your data management. When you deal with personal or private data, you must treat it with an additional level of caution.

At the very least, you should anonymize any sensitive data that you deal with. There are a number of ways you can do this without corrupting the functionality of the data itself. For example, you could use tokenization or hashing to mask data on a surface level.

That way, if you’re ever in a data breach event, your customers are protected. Not only does that keep your business legally safe, but it also ensures that your customers will be able to put their faith in you no matter what.

Final Thoughts

Databases are a wonderful tool that allows businesses to seize the true potential of all the data they collect. Without them, it’s nearly impossible to draw meaning and insight from hoards of customer information. However, in order to use them freely, you need to make sure that your database compliance is up to scratch.

The strategies that we’ve outlined in this article will point you in the right direction, ensuring you have all the documentation and methods in place to set yourself up for success. Follow these strategies, and you’ll have everything you need to start collecting and using customer data at scale.

From there, business intelligence and insight will become a breeze.

Source : SmartData Collective Read More

5 Benefits of Analytics to Manage Commercial Construction

5 Benefits of Analytics to Manage Commercial Construction

Analytics technology is changing the state of many different industries. The construction sector is no exception. Construction companies are projected to spend nearly $19.7 billion on analytics technology by 2027.

While a growing number of construction companies are starting to appreciate the importance of analytics technology, some are still unaware of the benefits. Construction companies will be more likely to invest in it when they are informed about the advantages.

Analytics Technology Offers Many Benefits for Construction Companies

Managing a commercial construction project can be a tricky and demanding task, but analytics technology has made the process easier than ever. Deloitte released a report on trends in the construction industry, which includes the benefits of analytics. Construction companies can use various analytics tools and platforms, each with its features and capabilities, to manage commercial construction projects more seamlessly. Here are some reasons construction companies should use analytics software to manage commercial construction projects.

Improved project management and coordination

As you can see in this commercial construction glossary, a project involves many moving parts. One of the primary reasons to use analytics software to manage commercial construction projects is to improve project management and coordination.

Construction software can create project schedules, assign tasks, track progress, and manage budgets. Analytics can also reduce the costs of avoidable mistakes in construction. This can help construction companies keep projects on schedule, avoid delays, and reduce overhead. Additionally, many construction software programs include collaboration and communication tools, which can help to improve internal communication and coordination.

Increased efficiency and productivity

Another reason to use analytics technology to manage commercial construction projects is to increase efficiency and productivity. Analytics helps companies streamline many important processes and automate many key functions more easily.

By automating many of the tasks typically performed manually, construction software can save time and reduce the risk of errors. This can help construction companies to work more efficiently and get more done in less time. Moreover, construction software can generate analytics reports, which can help businesses to identify areas where they can enhance their operations.

Improved data accuracy and security

Using analytics software to manage commercial construction projects can also help to improve data accuracy and security. By inputting data into the software, construction companies can ensure that the data is correct and up-to-date. Additionally, many construction software programs include security features, such as data encryption and user authentication, which can help to protect sensitive data from unauthorized access.

Better financial management

Another key benefit of using analytics software to manage commercial construction projects is better financial management. In fact, financial analytics is a booming field. Construction analytics software can manage budgets, track expenses, generate invoices and bills, and manage payroll. This can help construction companies to understand their financial data better and make better business decisions.

Additionally, many construction software programs include financial reporting and analytics features, which can help companies to identify areas where they can improve their financial performance.

Better customer communication and satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is paramount in retaining clients when it comes to commercial construction projects. Finally, using software to manage commercial construction projects can also help to improve customer communication and satisfaction. Construction software can collect customer data, track project progress, and generate reports and analytics.

This can help construction companies keep customers informed and engaged throughout the project, improving customer trust and satisfaction. Additionally, many construction software programs include customer relationship management features, which can help companies build stronger customer relationships.

Analytics is Crucial for Construction Companies Striving to Boost their ROI

There are many reasons why construction companies should use analytics software to manage commercial construction projects. Analytics technology improves project management and coordination, increases efficiency and productivity, improves data accuracy and security, facilitates better financial management, and better customer communication and satisfaction. Consequently, construction companies can work more efficiently, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction.

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Cloud-Centric Companies Discover Benefits & Pitfalls of Network Relocation

Cloud-Centric Companies Discover Benefits & Pitfalls of Network Relocation

Keeping your IT infrastructure in-tact while moving or relocating to a new location is a top priority at most organizations, especially cloud-centric companies. Given that IT increasingly affects every touchpoint of your business, any downtime can derail operations across the board, or worse result in theft or loss of data with far reaching consequences.

Network relocation to the cloud comes with its own set of challenges, benefits, and pitfalls that all business owners and IT professionals should be aware of. Such a movement of networks and IT infrastructure requires the services of professional move management services, who are well versed with the necessary checks and best practices that come with the process of network relocation.

In this article, we underscore a few benefits and possible pitfalls that businesses need to consider before planning a network relocation to the cloud.

Benefits of Network Relocation

On the face of it, the benefits of network relocation to the cloud seems fairly obvious and is increasingly becoming the hallmark of any cloud-centric organization.

Easy Deployment & Adoption – Relocating your network to the cloud brings a host of benefits pertaining to the deployment and adoption of new technologies going forward.

Unlike a traditional IT network or physical presence, the technical requirements are fairly thin, allowing businesses to curtail the substantial overheads that come with the same.

The initial deployment is just as easy and straightforward, as it mostly involves training and onboarding team members for a new tool, instead of individually installing it in each system, or upgrading hardware to match the system requirements.

Remote Work & Location Independence – Office relocations, work-from-home, or issues such as fires and water damages are hardly an issue for cloud-centric organizations. With data, systems, and processes hosted entirely on the cloud, disaster preparedness and the concept of going concern remains top notch.

The value of cloud deployments was further evidenced over the course of the pandemic, when organizations across the world were forced to shut physical office spaces overnight. Having a cloud infrastructure in place helped companies maintain their operations without any major changes.

Scalability – SAAS solutions deployed in the cloud are infinitely scalable with limitations arising from hardware specs no longer an issue.

If an organization is continuing to scale, it need not invest and expand its local infrastructure, and can just buy additional seats with the cloud-based service, substantially lowering overheads. This is often cited as one of the key benefits of cloud computing for businesses of all sizes.

Scaling is also a lot easier and straightforward, requiring limited technical know-how, or time requirements, as against legacy systems.

Pitfalls of Network Relocation

Despite the substantial advantages, relocating your network to the cloud comes with its share of disadvantages and pitfalls that you have to consider.

Downtime – While cloud networks are far more reliable than a local one, working with third-party providers does involve certain downtimes, especially if there are issues with your local internet connectivity.

Such uncertainties have to be accounted for, and result in cloud networks losing their sheen to a certain extent.

Security Issues – Cloud-centric organizations are faced with substantial security threats such as phishing attacks, ransomware, and denial of service. All of which can turn into an existential threat for a business without the necessary protections and precautions.

Reliance On Third-Party Vendors – A cloud-centric approach requires a third-party service provider to take care of the hosting, maintenance, and customizations required.

Even a mere network relocation from your existing setup to the cloud requires trained professionals to expertly move your IT infrastructure. This type of reliance isn’t liked by a number of small and medium sized business owners.

Conclusion

While it is increasingly evident that cloud based systems are the future, businesses should make it a point to have a good understanding of what this entails, along with the benefits, opportunities, and limitations that come with the same, before pressing ahead.

Source : SmartData Collective Read More

Better together: Looker connector for Looker Studio now generally available

Better together: Looker connector for Looker Studio now generally available

Today’s leading organizations want to ensure their business users get fast access to data with real-time governed metrics, so they can make better business decisions. Last April, we announced our unified BI experience, bringing together both self-serve and governed BI. Now, we are making our Looker connector to Looker Studio generally available, enabling you to access your Looker modeled data in your preferred environment.

Connecting people to answers quickly and accurately to empower informed decisions is a primary goal for any successful business, and more than ten million users turn to Looker each month to easily explore and visualize their data from hundreds of different data sources. Now you can join the many Google Cloud customers who have benefited from early access to this connector by connecting your data in a few steps.*

How do I turn on the integration between Looker and Looker Studio?

You can connect to any Google Cloud-hosted Looker instance immediately after your Looker admin turns on its Looker Studio integration.

Once the integration is turned on, you create a new Data Source, select the Looker connector, choose an Explore in your connected Looker instance, and start analyzing your modeled data.

You can explore your company’s modeled data in the Looker Studio report editor and share results with other users in your organization.

When can I access the Looker connector?

The Looker connector is now available for Looker Studio, and Looker Studio Pro, which includes expanded enterprise support and compliance.

Learn more about the connector here.

* A Google Cloud-hosted Looker instance with Looker 23.0 or higher is required to use the Looker connector. A Looker admin must enable the Looker Studio BI connector before users can access modeled data in Looker Studio.

Source : Data Analytics Read More