July 2024 Tech Upload

The NEW Digital Alliance would like to thank Community First Credit Union and EDCi for their support as an Executive Level investor!

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NEW Digital News

AI for Higher Education: Revolutionizing Learning and Administration

In partnership with New North, Microsoft, NEW ERA and site host Lakeshore Technical College, the “AI for Higher Education” event, held on June 25, 2024, explored the integration of artificial intelligence in higher education. The event featured keynotes, panel discussions, and breakout sessions. Topics included AI degree programs, ethical AI use, AI-driven student data analytics, and AI-enhanced instructional tasks. The event aimed to foster collaboration and share innovative strategies for leveraging AI to enhance learning and administrative processes in higher education. We would like to extend a big thank you to everyone who joined us for the AI in Higher Education event yesterday! We had an incredible time discussing the future of AI in higher education and exploring innovative solutions to enhance learning experiences. Your enthusiasm and engagement made this event a huge success. 

ark data centers Celebrates Entrance Into Wisconsin Market on the Heels of Esteemed Datacloud Global Award Recognition

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — June 13, 2024ark data centers, a national provider of data center and cloud infrastructure, celebrated the grand opening of its 20 MW campus in the Green Bay market on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. The event closely followed ark’s recent recognition as the winner of the 2024 Datacloud Global Award for Excellence in Data Centre Americas at the annual Datacloud Global Congress.

“The data center campus expansion and award recognition further position ark as a first-choice enterprise infrastructure provider,” said Brett Lindsey, Chief Executive Officer at ark data centers. “The surge of AI and rapid technological advancements has created unprecedented growth for data center space, power and compute. ark meets our customers at the edge to ensure they have scalable, adaptable infrastructure solutions in key markets across the country.”

The Wisconsin data center, strategically located just 30 minutes from Green Bay, is poised to serve the region’s vibrant technology and manufacturing sectors. The concurrently maintainable facility rests on a 24.5-acre campus with 24/7/365 critical monitoring and secure access. Through a multi-phased approach, ark plans to build 20 MW of capacity to meet the rising demands for reliable and available enterprise-ready infrastructure. ark owns and operates data centers across seven edge markets in the United States.

ark data centers

Microsoft to help rural hospitals defend against rising cybersecurity attacks

Recently, Microsoft published an article Microsoft to help rural hospitals defend against rising cybersecurity attacks – Stories. The article highlights their new initiative aimed at bolstering cybersecurity for rural hospitals across the United States. 

Key Points:

  • Free and Low-Cost Technology Services: They offer technology services at reduced rates to support rural hospitals.
  • Security Product Discounts: Critical Access and Rural Emergency Hospitals receive up to a 75% discount on security products.
  • Advanced Security Suite: Eligible hospitals already using Microsoft solutions receive the most advanced security suite at no cost for one year.
  • Windows 10 Security Updates: Participating hospitals receive Windows 10 security updates for at least one year at no additional cost.
  • Cybersecurity Assessments and Training: They provide free assessments and training to help staff manage system security effectively.
Am I eligible?

The Microsoft Cybersecurity Program for Rural Hospitals is available to rural hospitals in the United States. Urban hospitals, healthcare networks, health plans, ambulatory/outpatient healthcare organizations, and hospitals located outside the United States are ineligible for this program. Visit Microsoft Healthcare for more information about licensing and support options for ineligible organizations. This link can help an organization understand if there are considered “rural” Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer (hrsa.gov)

Action Required:

They encourage organizational leaders to register for the program using the link provided in the article:  Cybersecurity Program for Rural Hospitals (microsoft.com). Your participation will ensure that your hospital benefits from these valuable resources.

Read full article here

The Importance of Data Security When Recycling Electronics

In today’s digital landscape, our lives are intertwined with electronic devices. From personal smartphones and laptops to business servers and medical equipment, these devices store a wealth of sensitive information. When these electronics reach the end of their lifespan, the question of proper disposal becomes paramount. Simply discarding or donating old electronics can expose your personal and confidential data to potential misuse or theft. This is where the importance of secure data destruction in electronics recycling comes into play.

Understanding the Risks

The consequences of improper data disposal can be severe, impacting both individuals and businesses:

  • Identity Theft: Discarded electronics often contain personal information like names, addresses, social security numbers, and financial data. If this information falls into the wrong hands, it can be used for identity theft, leading to financial fraud and reputational damage.
  • Data Breaches: Businesses store valuable proprietary information, customer data, and financial records on their electronic devices. Improper disposal can lead to data breaches, exposing companies to legal liabilities, financial losses, and a loss of customer trust.
  • Corporate Espionage: In some cases, discarded electronics can even become targets for corporate espionage. Competitors or malicious actors may seek to extract sensitive business information from old devices to gain an unfair advantage.
Ensuring Secure Data Destruction

Responsible electronics recyclers prioritize data security throughout the recycling process. Several methods are employed to ensure the complete and irreversible destruction of data:

  • Data Wiping: Specialized software is used to overwrite data on hard drives and other storage media, rendering it unrecoverable. Reputable recyclers use software that meets or exceeds Department of Defense (DoD) standards for data erasure.
  • Physical Destruction: In some cases, physical destruction of hard drives and other storage devices is necessary to ensure complete data destruction. This can involve shredding, crushing, or degaussing (using a strong magnetic field to erase data).
  • Certified Processes: Look for recyclers who have certifications demonstrating their commitment to data security. These certifications often involve audits and inspections to verify that proper data destruction procedures are in place.
Why Choose a Certified Recycler

Partnering with a certified and reputable electronics recycler is essential to ensure the secure and responsible disposal of your electronic devices. Companies like Sadoff E-Recycling and Data Destruction have a proven track record of prioritizing data security. We utilize industry-leading data destruction methods, maintain strict chain of custody protocols, and provide certificates of destruction for your peace of mind.

Benefits Beyond Data Security

Choosing a certified recycler offers benefits beyond data security:

  • Environmental Responsibility: Certified recyclers adhere to stringent environmental regulations, ensuring that hazardous materials are handled safely and that valuable resources are recovered through responsible recycling practices.
  • Compliance: By partnering with a certified recycler, businesses can ensure they comply with data protection laws and environmental regulations, avoiding potential legal issues and penalties.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that your data and equipment are handled responsibly by a certified recycler provides peace of mind and a sense of social responsibility.

In the digital age, protecting sensitive data is paramount. When it comes to disposing of electronic devices, don’t leave data security to chance. 

Sadoff E-Recycling & Data Destruction

The Secret to Tech Implementation: An Internal Champion

Zak Dabbas

Finding an internal champion can make all the difference in managing your tech stack. 

There is an unprecedented amount of tech options available to businesses today. These tools can automate and optimize a significant portion of an organization’s workflow, and they are close to essential for growth in a modern work environment.

Once you’ve mapped your strategy and set your priorities, it’s time to start implementing — and figuring out who will be doing the implementing to ensure you support your support business goals from end to end.

Among the issues to consider:

  • How should organizations ensure they’re not overwhelmed by the tech options available to them?
  • What’s the best fit for your organization, your culture, your issues?
  • Will the technology start changing your approach and fixing problems quickly?

Your business should consider these questions whenever thinking about an essential tech addition. Technology implementation needs a strategy from the start — ideally, one that supports your business’s revenue goals.

For example, outsourcing with the right partner can wean down the list of tech options available and help you to better pinpoint the most effective solution for your business.

But after the decision to choose the right technology is made, how is that technology guided after selection? Too often, organizations become allured by the promise of a new technology tool but then fail to use the investment in an effective manner.

Finding Your Champion

Surprisingly, the most effective strategy for shepherding tech implementations from start to finish is simple: Find and elevate a champion.

You might already have the talent who’s interested; they just haven’t been asked yet.

New tech implementations are about fixing problems — someone may already be very passionate about fixing that problem, and they may surprise you. Internal champions know where pain points exist and may have already thought about how to fix them.

This is likely true across the organization, so bring those people together. Let champions collaborate and view team workflows so they can make sure that problems are being solved and efficiencies are increasing for the whole company.

So, what’s the end goal when a champion is involved?

Champions can help make sure that the technology is meeting the goal set at the start of the process when your organization picked the solution in the first place. Champions can take ownership and be invested in ensuring the tech is doing its job; plus, a champion can be more engaged with other team members and learn how the technology is affecting their coworkers.

Technology can’t solve every problem, but when used well, it can help accelerate your business goals, develop your team and reduce uninformed decision-making.

When the right technology is in place, organizations can leverage automation to inform their decision-making. It’s easy to rely on intuition — but it’s also easy to get trapped by it. Automation is only as good as the data it’s using, so ensuring your data is guided well is the job of the entire crew of champions.

When you start investing in and building your team’s technology stack, it’s important to remember the goals and problems the tech was meant to fix in the first place and if it’s still accomplishing those goals.

Elevating digital champions can help ensure your team is invested in the technology’s success and that it’s working for the right people. When technology is guided from start to finish with a clear goal in mind, it can save you headaches and hassles, and ultimately lead to a more satisfying and effective tech implementation.

Link to original article here

Regional News

Beyond Basic Prompts: How GAI Can Help Make You a Better Recruiter

By Laura Hilgers
LinkedIn Talent Blog

In many ways, generative AI is like an eager new assistant, showing off all it can do and the ways it can help. The new technology has proven it can write and carry on a conversation; find, match, and reach out to talent; and screen applicants. In the short time it’s been publicly available, it’s learned to do much more than that, and will soon be helping with even more new tasks. 

“So recruiters and talent professionals like you need to be thinking about how this kind of technology will affect your current role and career path,” says Glen Cathey, senior vice president of talent advisory and digital strategy at Randstad, “and how it will reshape the talent acquisition process and experience for everyone involved, applicants, employees, and hiring managers included.” 

LinkedIn Recruiter, for example, can help talent professionals with AI-assisted messages, follow-upsjob targetingjob posting, and search, as well as insights that compare key hiring metrics for InMail, jobs, and usage. Already, candidate outreach messages drafted with AI-assisted messages have seen a 40% increase in InMail acceptance rates compared with messages that AI didn’t touch. 

There’s a big wide world of things that AI can do to help talent pros, which Glen elaborates upon in his LinkedIn Learning course Generative AI, Recruiting, and Talent Acquisition. His course covers everything from the different forms of GAI to how GAI can boost internal mobility. To learn more about how you can use GAI beyond basic prompts, read on. 

  1. Familiarize yourself with all the AI tools available 

  2. Use GAI to refine tricky job descriptions 

  3. Ask GAI to generate interview questions and skills assessments for jobs that are new to your company

  4. Encourage hiring managers to use GAI for their recruiting tasks

  5. Enlist GAI’s help to promote internal mobility 

Read full article here

Enterprises need to get a 'firm grasp' on attack surfaces as cloud breaches surge

By Emma Woollacott
IT Pro

Cloud breaches have been rising steadily in recent years, according to a new report from Thales, with nearly half of firms having recorded a serious incident. 

Analysis by Thales shows that 14% of firms experienced a cloud breach in the last year, and the most common cause was human error and misconfiguration.

The firm warned that threat actors are also ramping up exploitation of known vulnerabilities, with 28% of all recorded breaches due to this. Similarly, a failure to use multi-factor authentication (MFA) was behind around 17% of all breaches.

The main targets were SaaS applications, cited by 31%, followed by cloud storage at 30%, and cloud infrastructure at 26%.

These attack surfaces are increasing, Thales warned, which involved a survey of nearly 3,000 organizations with revenues of between $100 million and $250 million.

Two-thirds of organisations are now using more than 25 SaaS applications, and nearly half of corporate data is rated as being sensitive. Despite this, however, data encryption rates remain low, with fewer than 10% of enterprises encrypting 80% or more of their sensitive cloud data.

“The scalability and flexibility that the cloud offers is highly compelling for organizations, so it’s no surprise it is central to their security strategies,” said Sebastien Cano, senior vice president for cloud protection and licensing activities at Thales.

“However, as the cloud attack surface expands, organizations must get a firm grasp on the data they have stored in the cloud, the keys they’re using to encrypt it, and the ability to have complete visibility into who is accessing the data and how it is being used.”

Read full article here

AI CASE STUDY: Banking on innovation - How ING uses generative AI to put people first

The global bank worked closely with McKinsey to build, test, and launch a bespoke customer-facing chatbot that uses the latest gen AI technology to meet customer needs.

Using gen AI to better assist customers
Read full case study here

Make a plan, get a purple team: Expert goes over industrial threat surface

For threats to the industrial sector—still rather weak on cybersecurity—it’s best to find creative ways to address the issue.

Lesley Carhart, technical director for industrial incident response at Dragos, told IT Brew at the RSA Conference in early May that she recommends an approach that encompasses gaming out the problem and purple teaming.

“You have to start thinking about, what will you do if you have to do incident response, because it can happen to anyone,” Carhart said.

Your move. To begin with, she explained, it’s best to make a plan. Organizations can start with tabletop exercises, where teams can examine what the problem is and how to manage it. Hypothesizing attack possibilities in a contained environment is also a good way to work on team cohesion.

“That’s easy, that’s cheap, that’s low pressure,” she said. “It’s a good relationship builder. But at some point, you have to move on beyond that.”

Harold’s crayon. That’s when it’s time to bring in purple teaming. Rather than requiring the level of technical expertise of a large scale pen test, purple teaming allows for attack simulation that results in a report showing strengths and weaknesses within systems. Exposing those flaws offers teams the opportunity to find out where they might be lacking—and it’s a strategy Carhart would like to see more organizations embrace.

“Sometimes your tools don’t work right, sometimes they’re not configured right,” Carhart said. “And this seems like really common sense stuff, but nobody’s doing it.”

Unfortunately, most organizations don’t take that to heart. Carhart told IT Brew that she sees the real world results in her day to day. Often the victims of attacks had a plan but hadn’t tested them out.

“I go see these incidents every single week,” she said. “That’s what I do for a living. And usually people are in tears, or they’re screaming at me, because it is their worst day ever. It is a catastrophe. And there’s always something going wrong. They had a plan; it’s all wrong. They’ve never tested their backups; they’ve never tested containment. The time to do that is now, when nothing is really bad.”

Access original article here