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Microsoft and the Taylor Swift genAI deepfake problem

The last few weeks have been a PR bonanza for Taylor Swift in both good ways and bad. On the good side, her boyfriend Travis Kelce was on the winning team at the Super Bowl, and her reactions during the game got plenty of air time. On the much, much worse side, generative AI-created fake nude images of her have recently flooded the internet.

As you would expect, condemnation of the creation and distribution of those images followed swiftly, including from generative AI (genAI) companies and, notably, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. In addition to denouncing what happened, Nadella shared his thoughts on a solution: “I go back to what I think’s our responsibility, which is all of the guardrails that we need to place around the technology so that there’s more safe content that’s being produced.”

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Apple is ramping up its fight against malware

Ensuring platform security is hard, but when a company the stature of Apple begins to ramp up protection of its ecosystem, every IT decision maker should pay attention. Unfortunately, this is precisely what's happening: Apple is now updating fundamental protection at a faster clip than it's ever done before.

Apple’s security teams are alert

That important revelation comes from Howard Oakley at the excellent Eclectic Light Company blog. He notes that in the six weeks ending Feb. 9 Apple, has updated a Mac security feature called XProtect five times — introducing 11 new rules to the service.

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How to thwart cyber criminals seeking to target smaller businesses

Cyber criminals are increasingly targeting small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) in the belief that they have not invested in the security technology required to thwart attacks. In fact, 43% of cyberattacks are aimed at SMBsCybercriminals are rational, profit-driven and highly organised: they know that attacking easy targets can result in a bigger aggregate pay-day. 

 

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Building the foundations of a sustainable innovation strategy

Modern customer demands and evolving technology capability mean smaller businesses are seeking digital transformation as eagerly as their enterprise counterparts.  

 

In the UK, for example, a recent survey by the Federation of Small Business (FSB) suggests that in the past three years, 69% of companies have either brought an entirely new product to market (25%), improved existing products (38%) or improved or introduced new internal or customer-facing processes (25%).  

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The AI data-poisoning cat-and-mouse game — this time, IT will win

The IT community of late has been freaking out about AI data poisoning. For some, it’s a sneaky mechanism that could act as a backdoor into enterprise systems by  surreptitiously infecting the data large language models (LLMs) train on and then getting  pulled into enterprise systems. For others, it’s a way to combat LLMs that try to do an end run around trademark and copyright protections.

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The AI data-poisoning cat-and-mouse game — this time, IT will win

The IT community of late has been freaking out about AI data poisoning. For some, it’s a sneaky mechanism that could act as a backdoor into enterprise systems by  surreptitiously infecting the data large language models (LLMs) train on and then getting  pulled into enterprise systems. For others, it’s a way to combat LLMs that try to do an end run around trademark and copyright protections.

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What a future without browser cookies looks like

Most online users have experienced it. You do an online search for healthcare purposes, travel information, or something to buy and soon you’re being bombarded with emails and targeted online ads for everything related to your search. That’s because browser cookies were tracking you as you performed your searches; they identified you and your activity.

Over the past few years, the online advertising industry has been undergoing a sea change as regulators restricted how cookies can be used and browser providers moved away from their use in response to consumer outcries over privacy.

“They often feel surveilled; some even find it ‘creepy’ that a website can show them ads related to their behavior elsewhere,” according to a recent study by the HEC Paris Business School.

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When a customer gets defrauded, should the enterprise reimburse?

The New York Attorney General’s decision to sue Citibank last week for failing to reimburse customers who'd been victimized by fraud raised some interesting issues for business that go beyond just Citibank. Specificially, when should a customer be reimbursed for fraud and at what point do the customer’s own actions come into play?

To be clear, financial institutions have been routinely refusing to reimburse customers who have done nothing wrong. The far trickier issue is when the customer does indeed do something wrong.

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When a customer gets defrauded, should the enterprise reimburse?

The New York Attorney General’s decision to sue Citibank last week for failing to reimburse customers who'd been victimized by fraud raised some interesting issues for business that go beyond just Citibank. Specificially, when should a customer be reimbursed for fraud and at what point do the customer’s own actions come into play?

To be clear, financial institutions have been routinely refusing to reimburse customers who have done nothing wrong. The far trickier issue is when the customer does indeed do something wrong.

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Apple accuses UK gov’t of ‘unprecedented overreach’ on privacy

In the name of security, the UK government may well have put a cybersecurity target on the nation’s back, with Apple once again warning that proposed changes to the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 are a “serious and direct threat to data security and information privacy.

“We are deeply concerned about the amendments to the Investigatory Powers Bill currently before Parliament, which will put the privacy and security of users at risk," Apple said in a statement. “This is an unprecedented overreach by the government and, if implemented, the UK new user protections could be secretly vetoed globally, preventing us from ever delivering them to customers.”

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