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The Cyber Why: What We Read This Week...
... and why you should too! New Years Edition (12/29/2022)
Tick tock, tick tock (no not TikTok!). As every minute ticked us closer to the end of 2022 and the start of 2023, I cringed. I wish I could say it’s was a great year, but in the world of technology news, funding, investing, and cybersecurity I would have to say that the results have been moderately warm at best. We have seen valuations collapse, massive layoffs, companies fold due to fraud, and have seen the pendulum swing from an overly employee entitled world to one where authoritarian leadership styles in silicon valley appear to be coming back into vogue.
Everyone keeps predicting that problems are going to continue to grow throughout the recession that is sure to last at least through 2023 and maybe into 2024. Me, on the other hand, I’m sitting here crossing my fingers and hoping that we’ve hit rock bottom and will begin the long bounce back up over the next few years.
This week we look at Amazon backed AI, is TikTok really spying on US journalists?, the macro economic impact of the sea of change, and how to jump start your start up via thought leadership and executive visibility. Check out the links, enjoy the ride, and as always please subscribe!
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EXCLUSIVE: TikTok Spied On Forbes Journalists (Forbes)
I have been hearing rumblings about TikTok spies in cyber security circles for well over a year now. It appears that there is now proof, that has been confirmed by ByteDance, that some employees at TikTok misused their authority to obtain access to TikTok user data. Specifically they spied on US based journalists. Forbes responded with the following quote:
“This is a direct assault on the idea of a free press and its critical role in a functioning democracy.”
Even US Senator Mark Warner got involved with some comments:
“This new development reinforces serious concerns that the social media platform has permitted TikTok engineers and executives in the People’s Republic of China to repeatedly access private data of U.S. users despite repeated claims to lawmakers and users that this data was protected.”
Tiktok’s abuse of user data will continue be an ongoing issue as both the US and China look for new ways to spy on each other’s citizens. Right now it appears that China has a leg up as TikTok is the most visited website in the world!
Sea Change (Oaktree Capital - Howard Marks)
If you are a macro economics nerd, like myself, this might be one of the most important reads of the year. Howard Marks is about as good as it gets in the investing world when the markets are down and assets are distressed. He understands the impacts better than anyone and knows how to profit. If the original post is too long you can read a great summary tl;dr written by Ed Sim here. The biggest take away is that the seas have changed and you would do well to reconsider how you swim in them.
The Open Source Security Index
While not specifically an article, this website is really cool and worth looking at. As an investor in cyber security technologies I have to keep up with the latest open source technologies and how they are in use both to deliver new technology but also as security tools themselves. This website maintains a list of the open source cyber security technologies ranking them on a number of popularity factors. It’s worth checking out no matter if you are an investor, technologist, developer, or security guru!
Welcome to Zombie(corn)land! (The Cyber Why)
Yep you read that right. I wrote this one! I wanted to make sure I included it here because I thought it was a super fun way to end the year. This article talks about how to avoid a slow and agonizing death as a zombie unicorn in 2023. Follow a few specific rules and you might be able to pull yourself out of the jaws of the recession zombie. Oh and don’t forget to click on all of the embedded youtube links for some kick ass zombie kill footage!
Why We Must Be Careful About How We Speak of Large Language Models (VentureBeat)
What’s the difference between LLM (large language models) and artificial intelligence. This article will help you understand a basic analogy and why we aren’t quite there yet when it comes to “artificial intelligence”. Basically it’s the difference between understanding the math behind the usage of certain tokens vs learning a language and the meaning behind words or phrases. I didn’t do the analogy justice… so just go read the article!
A 95% Writedown Shows the Repercussions of VC Exuberance (Bloomberg)
What does it really mean these days to be a board member. Board members are supposed to be the adults in the room and provide oversight and supervision into the companies that they fund. Board problems are never straightforward (and the article takes a lot of liberties in its generalizations) but in some respects it might be time for board members to become a lot more intimate with their portfolio companies and spend more time ensuring they aren’t just wasting money.
How to Skyrocket Your Business to the Top With Thought Leadership and Visibility (Entrepreneur)
In cybersecurity marketing one of the most important things you can do to succeed is to produce content that has value to your audience. It’s one of the strongest ways to build a loyal community and following. Executive (CEO) visibility and thought leadership is a requirement to succeed in providing that value. You have to remember to be authentic to who you are, add value where you have value to add without forcing it, and make sure that the content you put out has real value to the audience you are trying to reach. Read for more details.
How Amazon Uses AI To Automate Work In Its Corporate Headquarters (Big Technology)
I firmly believe that as AI becomes stronger and we are able to automate more of what humans do on a daily basis, the human workforce will adapt and find other ways to provide value at a higher order than before. This opinion, however, doesn’t stop the pain of losing one’s job to a predictive AI based system. I guess it’s time for these Amazon employees to figure out what their next level up of work will have to be! Check out how Amazon is putting some of its formerly important people out of a job.
If you’ve made it this far you either found my musings at least semi-entertaining OR you enjoy pain and kept going regardless. No matter how you made it to this point, you should know that I appreciate you. Please do me a solid and share The Cyber Why with your friends. I would love to reach a bigger audience and referrals is how I’ll do it. Help me out and I’ll see you next week!