Brian Russell discusses his new book and trends in IoT security

first_imgWhy IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Clarke Illmatical Related Posts Tags:#cybersecurity#Internet of Things#IoT Follow the Puck Brian RussellReadWrite: We’ve been inundated with IoT technology, it seems like security isn’t being factored in. Is there such a thing as IoT security in general?Brian Russell: Yes, in a lot of ways, IoT security is just regular security. Now, applying it to the types of devices and systems that are being built, that’s been a challenge for one reason or the other but, when you really sort of think about it, the fundamentals of information security still apply to IoT devices, that a manufacturer is building. Or integrators putting together, you still need to have confidentiality, integrity, availability, those sort of key fundamentals of security. So, what’s been a bit of a challenge in the IoT market, is there are so many types of technologies coming together, and nobody’s gotten ahead of the curve, and said hey, if I put together a system that has Zigbee devices that are talking over the internet, over the cloud, and they can talk to each other and they use MQTT as well, after going through a gateway, how do I secure those new technologies? And so, it’s a matter of technology getting ahead of the guys in security, market or the security function, where they haven’t really had a chance to catch up and do a really good look at one, the security controls, that have to be applied and the best practices that are recommended for each specific protocol that’s within IoT and from a systems perspective, what are the engineering challenges related to when you put all of these things together, and you start having them work together? Sometimes in an autonomous fashion, what does that mean from a risk perspective and what does that mean from a security controls perspective? I think it’s really a matter of security not catching up with technology. I think whether it’s the IoT, whether it’s machine learning, whether it’s data analytics, whatever it is that we’re talking about, that’s going to be the challenge going forward for the security community, trying to figure out, technology moves fast and security is sort of lagging behind the technology movers and shakers. How are you going to make sure that you keep up? So that as new capabilities, products and technology come out, you’re not in the same boat as we’ve seen ourselves in with IoT. RW: With IoT, we don’t see the traditional level of testing, because of the ubiquitous nature of these devices, they’re everywhere. Is it a different mentality when testing or working with this type of security?BR: Yes and no. You’re going to want to do a methodical examination when you’re examining the security of any particular system, a methodical examination of potential vulnerabilities, and you go online and sort of look for every single attack vector that you can find to get into a particular system, whether IoT or not. What you mentioned about sort of IoT being different is right, and there’s training or mindset shift that has to occur in the security community. The scale of IoT is what I think you were referring to, there might be millions of devices, that are used within a particular organization and those devices can range from temperature sensors, floating in the ocean, it can be smart mirrors, it can be smart billboards, it can, things in a smart home, smart electrical capabilities, smart grid type stuff, there’s so many different things, again, sort of going back the traditional ways of doing security, sort of looking at it from a risk perspective, is really important, again, if you have this sort of category of devices, that are sort of reading temperature data, for example, or reading some environmental type data that has no impact from a security perspective, for a particular organization, or limited impact from a security perspective, you’re going to apply resource to secure those capabilities and those technologies. On the other end of the spectrum, what you really have to work about is this move toward cyber-physical system, CPS, where now, I may have a connected vehicle, if I’m Ford or General Motors, I’m going to make sure that I apply substantial amounts of security engineering and resources to figuring out what the vulnerabilities are for that particular system and making sure that it’s locked down in such a way that people are thwarted from trying to penetrate into the core the devices, in this case, a vehicle. Or it could be a drone or a plane. Going back to that sort of risk perspective, and that sort of that risk framework mentality, and saying ‘Well, I need to sort of pull out of the stop and see if I can dig my way into a connected car, that if it’s compromised, it’s going to cause harm to somebody…’RW: What was your motivation for this book? It’s very technical. BR: My background, going back many years, working for the government, building cryptographic key management systems and we sort of have an understanding of, making sure the systems that are out there, serving mission purposes, and critical business purposes are secure, sort  of taking that background in cryptographic key management, we ended up starting to work with the FAA. Cryptographic control for drones and trying to figure out what that command link would look like between a small mid aerial system or drone and a ground control system, and sort of keeping people out of that command link. Then we ended up going into the transportation sector with the federal highway administration trying to figure out what it means to secure connected vehicles across the U.S. infrastructure. From that perspective, from the work perspective, it became very clear that there are a lot of challenges. People weren’t going back and applying the fundamental principles… The risks were growing significantly. We saw that there were many points of integration, that seemed to be opening up between all of these different technologies. For example, a vehicle in today’s world might be started with a command, you might say ‘Lexus, start my vehicle.” That’s sort of an integration point, it might integrate with your net thermostat. That’s an integration point into a cyber system that has the ability to cause harm if it’s taken over from a control perspective. The risks are significantly high and they’re getting higher as more things get integrated with other things. The other side, the volunteer work that I do, the Internet of Things Working Group, we’ve been looking at this since 2013 or so, trying to put together some community driven thoughts on how an enterprise might go about securing and IoT implementation, sort of a systems to systems implementation, and then how a product developer might go about securing their IoT-based connected products. I look at that and got together with my co-author Drew Van Duren and said it probably makes sense to go ahead and formalize this and put this together into an actual book. RW: It looks like your book was written for engineers, programmers and network admins working on the technical aspects of IoT. I think you’re right, we tried to abstract it as well, but we wanted to provide practical guidance that people can use when they’re designing their IoT systems. RW: In chapter one, you talk about IoT data collection, storage, and analytics. Thinking about the future of IoT, how big a role will data collection play?There are a lot of different potentials there. One path you can think through is already starting to show itself. If you look at, I think there was a murder investigation just a couple of weeks ago and the local law enforcement was trying to get access to the transcripts from the Alexa, from Amazon’s Echo device. That shows you that you have devices in a smart home for example, in some instances, back with the some of the smart TVs that were always listening. Definitely, in the Echo case, it’s always listening for the implication word… What is the legal stance as far as how a law enforcement official might gain access to that transcript from Amazon? Almost like the old subpoena from the telecom providers. Are they going to go and do this to Amazon when there is a case that opens up and they might be able to figure out details of the case if they get transcripts. This sort of goes to the ubiquitous monitoring of IoT, the nature of the IoT, where you always sort of being watched and I think eventually we’ll get use to that. It’s going to be interesting seeing what happens from the perspective of law enforcement that wants access to these things. Another example, it hasn’t come to fruition yet, but everybody has cameras on these houses now, camera on their backyard. If something happens in front of your house or on your property, is law enforcement going to subpoena the video images? What if you don’t want that to get out from a privacy perspective? I think privacy sort of a really interesting area to think through when it comes to this sort of data collection of IoT devices. You can make the same case for smart health devices that are always collecting your biometric data about your heart rate. These things are going to get more and more advanced. The data that’s collected is going to be able to show, a profile of your activity, and your sort of overall health and well-being, and do you want this data or the inferences from that data to be made available to people that you don’t know. Your healthcare provider is sharing that with your insurance provider. On the insurance side, what are the ramifications when we talk about not only health care but also sort of vehicle insurance. Nowadays you can go out to target and buy a device that will hook into your OBD2 port on your vehicle and collect information about how fast your drive and that’s going to be standard stuff in the connected vehicle area. What happens when the insurance company starts getting a hold of that data that’s being collected about you? They can make real-time decisions about what you rates are going to be — can they deny coverage? It’s going to be real interesting to think about from a legislative perspective. I talk about the security guys being behind the curve, of technology, it’s the same on the legislative side. Are lawmakers going to have to figure out what laws they have to put in place to protect your rights as a consumer, not only from a privacy perspective but also from the perspective of this not having your insurance taken away because the insurance company figures you’re not as healthy as you said you were or you’re driving more than you said you were. RW: When we look at IoT devices, it seems like a lot of devices are being enabled without any security mechanism in place. The manufacturers are creating and then at the last moment, an IP stack is placed on the device. What is your take on this?BR: I think that’s right. IoT security is similar to regular information security that we’ve all sort of grown up with. If you think about the software industry, they’ve had many years to secure their security practices, and if I’m a refrigerator manufacturer I haven’t had a need to figure out how to prevent people from hacking into my computer capabilities, or If I’m a vehicle manufacturer, similar circumstances, or whatever it is, if I’d a manufacturer of some sort of product, physical product, I haven’t had to make sure that people don’t have to hack into my light bulb, that I’m putting out onto the shelf. It’s a matter of catching up again from a design perspective, understanding that if you put something out there that has the ability to connect to other devices or to the Internet, there is risk involved and you have to figure out how to mitigate that risk.You pair that with the startup community who has no real motivation to embed real security engineering into their products, they’re interested in getting things to market… The other aspect is that there is talk all over that there is a shortage of skilled security people. On the market. If I’m a startup or legacy product manufacturer, it’s going to be hard for me to go out and recruit the people I need to build a good security team, so that I can tackles these issues internally, it’s this perfect storm of different mindsets and issues that are keeping people from succeeding and applying proper security controls, to their devices. The FTC recently came out against manufacturers of connected devices and are bringing a lawsuit against a manufacturer. I can’t remember who it was, and so now, if you start to see some government enforcement you might see some a mindset shift from these IoT manufacturers where they have to go the extra mile to get things right. We haven’t seen that from the government until very recently. RW: On connected devices in the home, what kind of implemented security can we expect to see on these devices in the future. BR: I think, for those sort of devices, you’re going to have to lean on the protocol specs themselves because bolting on additional security features to an air conditioner that has to talk to a thermostat, if that involves any sort additional configuration for the home user it’s probably not going to happen or not happen correctly, because from the consumer IoT realm, it’s an interesting challenge. Usability is extremely important, there is always this tug of war between usability and security, but on the home market, it’s not going to be used, if it’s too hard to configure. If you have to go in and manually enter a hex string of key characters into a light bulb every time you install it, that’s gonna fly. As so, you fall back on the pairing processes of some of these protocols like ZigBee, Z-Wave or Bluetooth. And those communication protocols have built-in security controls, where they haven authentication capabilities and confidentiality protections built into them at the link layer. You’re going to have to figure out the best approach to leverage those, protocols security stacks that are already existing for those types of devices. RW: So who needs to purchase your book? BR: I would say anybody who is trying to put together complex connected systems. Systems that talk to each other, systems that work together autonomously, for critical business functions or critical mission functions. That’s what the book was designed for anybody who is responsible for getting these connected devices incorporated into their enterprise. I would hope would benefit from this book right now. Brian Russell is a security expert with Leidos, chair of the Internet of Things Working Group and Cloud Security Alliance. He spoke to ReadWrite about his book “Practical Internet of Things Security” and issues facing the IoT security community.See also: 5 IoT cybersecurity predictions for the coming yearHow do we shift our minds and prepare for IoT security? What are some of the biggest challenges facing the IoT community in enterprise networks and consumers at home? Take a look at the interview below. Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to…last_img read more


15 days agoEriksen reluctant to leave Tottenham in January

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Eriksen reluctant to leave Tottenham in Januaryby Paul Vegas15 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid aim to prise Christian Eriksen away from Tottenham for a bargain £30million in January.But AS says Eriksen would rather wait until his deal runs out in June so he can leave for free and pick up a huge signing bonus.Real can enter talks on January 1 over a summer switch as clubs abroad will not be breaking rules speaking to a player in the final six months of his deal.But they could still try and tempt Spurs into cashing in, which would give Eriksen a choice to make.Zinedine Zidane’s No1 midfield target was Paul Pogba but Manchester United were not open to selling. last_img read more


MLB Teams Should Go For Talent Not Balance At The Trade Deadline

One school of thinking about the MLB trade deadline, which passes at 4 p.m. Eastern time, is that teams should address their weaknesses and become more balanced in preparation for the stretch run. The notion, which we’ve taken as a given around these parts in the past, is that sacrificing in some area of strength (whether on offense, pitching or defense) to plug a weakness makes a team less vulnerable in the postseason. But is that true? Certainly teams should patch up their weaknesses if it doesn’t mean taking away from their strengths, but all else being equal, balance for its own sake may not necessarily help improve a team’s chances.It’s easy to look at a team’s offense/defense balance — defined as how closely matched a team’s run-scoring and run-prevention capabilities are. We can quantify the clubs most in need of it at the deadline this season by indexing each team’s (park-adjusted) runs scored and allowed per game against the league average. In the chart below, the teams in the bottom right-hand corner are the most balanced — they’re good at both scoring and preventing runs1In this case, a lower defensive index is better because it means a team allowed fewer runs. — but those in the adjacent quadrants have a weakness in one of the two categories. (Those in the top left are just bad at everything.) But to examine the broader question of whether balance helps a team, we need to see if our measure of balance — specifically, the absolute difference between a team’s index and the league average of 100 on both offense and defense — tracks meaningfully with a team’s future success after controlling for its overall talent level.To that end, I computed the same offensive and defensive indices as above for each team on July 31 of every season since 1986, when the trade deadline was permanently moved to that date (except this year, when the commish moved it to Aug. 1 because July 31 fell on a Sunday). As a first pass, I checked whether a change in a team’s balance correlated with improved play over the remainder of the regular season — and the relationship was practically non-existent.2In statistical parlance, the r between the change in a team’s balance from before the trade deadline to after and its change in winning percentage was 0.018. I then did the same thing but for eventual playoff teams only … and got the same result.3This time, the correlation was -0.009. Finally, I looked at whether a playoff-bound team’s balance had any real bearing on its World Series odds after controlling for its talent, and again, a team’s balance had no significant effect. (If anything, less balanced playoff teams have tended to win the World Series more often since 1986, though that finding is likely just noise.)In other words, balance isn’t something for a team to seek at the deadline — talent is. Teams should be wary about dealing from a strength to improve a weakness if it doesn’t leave them in a better overall place than where they started. Even under the bright lights, a run saved is still worth the same as a run scored, balance be damned.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more


Mens basketball No 8 Ohio State loses 7462 to No 22 Michigan

Redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop drives to the basket in the first half of Ohio State’s 74-62 loss to Michigan in Ann Arbor. Credit: Jacob Myers | Managing Editor for ContentANN ARBOR, Mich. — Win out and No. 8 Ohio State had nothing to worry — it would be the Big Ten regular-season champion. After Thursday’s derailment at unranked Penn State, the two-loss Buckeyes had no breathing room in Sunday’s matchup at No. 22 Michigan.Now, the conference title at the end of an improbable regular season is no longer in their control.Senior forward Jae’Sean Tate scored 20 points and had a career-high 15 rebounds, but the offensive output wasn’t found from other players for the Buckeyes (22-7, 13-3 Big Ten) in their 74-62 loss to Michigan (22-7, 11-5 Big Ten). Michigan freshman Jordan Poole scored a surprising 15 points while Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman led with 17 and Moritz Wagner added 12.“Losing up here to them, it hurts,” Tate said. “But at the end of the day, we still got two more Big Ten games to play and we just got to learn from it.”Redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop scored 17 points, but struggled from the field, shooting 5-of-17. This is the second game in a row Bates-Diop had difficulty shooting, which has coincided with Ohio State’s issues from the field as well.The issues of ball movement and playing against a physical opponent resurfaced against Michigan in a game Ohio State seemingly had to have in order to win the conference title next week. Now the Buckeyes sit a game back of Michigan State and are reeling a bit coming into the end of the season.“I just think that we haven’t been the team that’s been more hungrier,” Tate said. “We could blame it on thinking that we had a two-game lead in the Big Ten, but I feel like teams have had us on our heels whereas in the past where we’ve won, we are the ones that have been the aggressors. We just got to get back to that.”The Buckeyes were on the track to do just that multiple times in the second half. When Michigan scored the first three points of the second half to take an eight-point lead, the Buckeyes went on a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to 36-34. The Wolverines then grew their lead to nine after back-to-back layups with 10:40 remaining. Ohio State shrunk that to four with a layup from Tate and Bates-Diop’s second 3 of the game.Trailing 55-52 with 7:53 on the clock after a Tate-made free throw, Poole connected on his fourth 3 of the game from the right corner.Ohio State then went nearly six minutes — from 8:30 to 2:53 remaining — without a bucket.Out of the final media timeout, Michigan began to pull away from their rivals. Abdur-Rahman drilled a 3 from the top of the key and Wagner came down the floor on the next possession to complete a 3-point play that put the Wolverines up 68-55 with 2:12 remaining.The Wolverines led since seven minutes remained in the first half, but the Buckeyes were within striking distance until the final minutes. Only when they had their chance, they could never get over the hump.Junior point guard C.J. Jackson scored his lone points on a 3 in the first half and finished with zero assists, following his one-assist performance at Penn State. Ohio State recorded just eight assists on 24 field goals and committed 14 turnovers.Moving forward, Holtmann said he might use Tate and Bates-Diop to alleviate some pressure from primary ballhanders Jackson and redshirt senior guard Andrew Dakich.“Obviously it was a concern coming into the season, not just our depth, but our ability to manage that,” Holtmann said. “We just have to challenge our guards to make better decisions in some of those situations. I’m confident they will. It’s not necessarily their strength, but I’m optimistic they will.”After both teams shot 41 percent in the first half, Michigan’s offense came to life with 56.5 percent shooting in the second frame, and  its defense held Ohio State to 41.9 percent.Up Next:Ohio State returns to Columbus for its final home game against Rutgers at 7 p.m. Tuesday. read more


Baseball Ohio States offense comes alive in 143 win against Lipscomb in

Ohio State senior Nate Romans (7) swings at home plate in the Buckeyes’ home opener against the Lipscomb Bison on March 15, 2019 at Bill Davis Stadium. Credit: Sal Marandino | For The LanternDespite the cold temperatures, the Ohio State baseball team heated up to end itsfive-game losing streak in its home opener. Ohio State (8-9) routed Lipscomb (9-7) 14-3. The bats came alive for the Buckeyes, producing 18 hits, a season-high, and two home runs. “I told [the team] after the game, ‘That’s us. That’s what we’re capable of. That’s what we can do,’” head coach Greg Beals said. The Buckeyes blew the game open with a seven-run fifth inning. Four of those runs were scored with two outs, and the lead was extended to 13-1. Freshman third baseman Zach Dezenzo erupted with two home runs in the game, his second and third of the year, adding three RBIs. “Both those pitches were up and out,” Dezenzo said. “Just tried to put a good swing on it and hit something hard.”Freshman pitcher Garrett Burhenn shined against a Lipscomb team that came into the game batting .297. Burhenn allowed three runs, one of which was earned, and two hits in six innings of work. “It feels really good to be back at home and being able to start our home series and set the tone for the weekend,” Burhenn said. “I feel like we all did a great job. It was a good team win.”Burhenn struck out five, while walking two. The solid pitching was continued by Ohio State redshirt senior Thomas Waning and junior Joe Gahm. The pair struck out three and allowed only one hit in two innings of relief. With two runners on via walk, Ohio State junior first baseman Conner Pohl opened the scoring with a two-out single in the bottom of the first inning, knocking in junior shortstop Noah West. Pohl would finish the game with three RBIs. West recorded his first two stolen bases of the season. The Buckeyes increased their season stolen base total from five to eight. Lipscomb came into the game with 25 stolen bases, but were unable to steal a bag in the series opener.Lipscomb senior pitcher Chris Kachmar would go on to struggle recording outs in an efficient fashion. He was pulled in the fourth inning after recording only nine outs on 93 pitches. Kachmar came into the game with a 3-0 record and seven walks allowed in four starts. The starter earned his first loss of the season and had an uncharacteristic four walks allowed in only three innings pitched. After a pair of singles by Ohio State junior right fielder Dominic Canzone and senior left fielder Brady Cherry and a walk to redshirt sophomore catcher Brent Todys, the bases were loaded in the third inning. A 10-pitch at bat to fifth-year senior designated hitter Nate Romans ended with a two-run, two-out single to right field to balloon the lead to 4-0. “I was just trying to fight, because I was down to two strikes both at bats. Just fighting off his good pitches and then put a good swing on it,” Romans said. Romans finished the game with three RBIs on two hits. The first hit surrendered by Burhenn came by way of a solo shot in the fifth inning over the left field wall. It was junior Lipscomb junior shortstop Brian Moore’s first home run of the season. Dezenzo hit his second home run of the day when he skied a two-run bomb over the right field fence in the fifth inning. After a triple by redshirt senior center fielder Ridge Winand, West hit him in with a one-out double to extend the lead to 9-1. The Bisons drew more blood in the sixth inning as sophomore outfielder Carson Wright brought in two runs on a two-out single to make the game 13-3. Winand scored his third run of the game on a wild pitch in the sixth inning to end the scoring for the Buckeyes. Burhenn moved to 3-1 on the year with the win. “I think we’re really confident in this home stretch here that we can get things turned around the right way,” Dezenzo said. The Buckeyes will play their second game against Lipscomb at 3:05 p.m. Saturday. read more


Eye on the Industry Updates on Altisource Churchill Mortgage and More

first_imgEye on the Industry: Updates on Altisource, Churchill Mortgage, and More From promotions and new appointments to branch expansion and new partnerships, get the latest buzz on the industry in this weekly update.Altisource Portfolio Solutions (Altisource), a provider of services and technologies to the mortgage and real estate industries has announced the appointment of Justin Vedder as COO of its Originations Solutions business. According to a statement by Altisource, in his new role, Vedder will be responsible for the growth of Altisource’s Origination Solutions business which brings together the integrated and consultative products, services and solutions needed by mortgage market participants of all sizes throughout the loan origination and secondary market execution process. Altisource’s Origination Solutions Platform includes Trelix Mortgage Fulfillment Services, CastleLine Insurance Services, the Lenders One cooperative, Granite Risk Management, Mortgage Builder Loan Origination System, Springhouse Valuations, and Premium Title and Settlement Services. Previously, Vedder served as VP of National Sales, Origination Solutions where he was instrumental in growing the company’s Origination Solutions customer base and driving long-term strategic client relationships. Prior to joining Altisource, he was the EVP at CastleLine where he assisted in the development and launch of the Certified Loan Program. Vedder is a renowned thought leader and has spoken nationally on various topics including mortgage fraud, loan production and defects, repurchase management, auditing of lenders, insurance, and various other mortgage banking-related matters. Vedder’s appointment follows the departure of Bryan Binder and Jason Garmise, who joined Altisource in 2015 through the acquisition of CastleLine.__________________________________________________________________________________________California-based Churchill Mortgage, which provides conventional FHA, VA, and USDA residential mortgages across 46 states, has announced the opening of its newest branch in San Dimas, California to enhance borrower service throughout the Golden State. The company said that Mike Hardy and Rick Mount will both serve as regional managers for Churchill’s operations in Southern California. Working together as a team since 2010, Hardy and Mount have more than 45 years of qualified experience in the mortgage industry guiding borrowers towards debt-free homeownership. Hardy’s background also includes experience as a Financial Advisor which allows him to better understand his borrower’s individual financial needs. Mount, prior to his work with Hardy, held several senior positions responsible for all aspects of the loan process. “In a market as competitive as California, Rick and Mike’s leadership will be vital to helping borrowers make well-educated, thoughtful decisions regarding their next home purchase. We look forward to supporting their team as we continue to expand our Southern California presence,” said Mike Hardwick, president of Churchill Mortgage.__________________________________________________________________________________________Lenders One Cooperative, a national alliance of independent mortgage bankers has announced that Michael Kuentz has been promoted to the role of CEO of Lenders One. Kuentz previously held the title of President. In his new role, he will assume responsibility for Lender One’s day-to-day operations and strategic execution as well as continue to lead and manage the cooperative’s sales effort, the cooperative said in a statement. “Michael and I have worked closely over these past two years and I could not be more pleased with his promotion,” said Bryan Binder, Lenders One’s outgoing CEO. “The state of our cooperative is extremely strong, and our value proposition and opportunity set are both as attractive as they have been in many years. This strength combined with our incredibly talented management team gives me great confidence that the future of the cooperative has never been brighter and the timing is right for Michael to take the helm.” “As one of the largest cooperatives of independent mortgage bankers and the market leader in innovation, Lenders One is always looking for new ways to deliver value to our members,” said Matt Clarke, COO & CFO of Churchill Mortgage and Board Director of Lenders One. “Michael has been instrumental in rapidly bringing new ideas and solutions that help our members succeed, and I am highly confident that Michael will continue to be a strong leader both for Lenders One and across the mortgage industry.”__________________________________________________________________________________________Home Bank, a subsidiary of Home Bancorp, Inc., has implemented the Loan Fulfillment Center (LFC) from Mortgage Cadence, an Accenture company. Available through the Mortgage Cadence cloud for swift accessibility, LFC is a retail loan origination platform capable of handling mortgage requirements from application to closing and delivery. After a 90-day implementation, Home Bank is now live on the platform and also using its integrated BorrowerCenter, an intuitive online origination portal. “Given the highly competitive industry we serve, lenders must have technology that fits their needs not just today, but for many years to come,” said Trevor Gauthier, President, and COO of Mortgage Cadence. “While some companies offer just one loan origination system, Mortgage Cadence is well positioned to meet the diverse needs of our customers, thanks to our two different loan origination systems, Loan FulfillmentCenter and Enterprise Lending Center. LFC offers out-of-the-box functionality that a smaller administrative team can quickly personalize. It is the perfect fit for Home Bank.” Altisource Churcill Mortgage Home Bank Lenders One Mortgage Cadence 2018-08-09 Radhika Ojha Sharelast_img read more


The existential case for ditching Alexa and other AI

But humans are not necessarily supposed to be efficient. We are messy, emotional, irrational creatures. Romantic interactions, for example, are often excruciating. But we push through in hope. Deciding what to do with the day is frequently impulsive, spur of the moment stuff. When throwing together whatever is left in the fridge, we sometimes come up with unexpectedly tasty new meals. Just being bored can similarly help us come up with cutting-edge ideas. This may not be efficient, but it shows that there is value in mistakes and embarrassing situations. The experiences that make up life are not always easy or enjoyable. They can be physically and mentally exhausting. But it is through these experiences that we connect with others and ourselves. So are we outsourcing the very things that ultimately make us human? Philosophical verdictExistential philosophy gives a handle on this situation. Existentialism is a school of thought that considers what it means to be human, to be oneself and to be happy. Its central argument is that the absurdity and lack of meaning in life can make us unhappy. However, we can create meaning by searching for our “authentic self”. Authenticity may be interpreted as an ideal state of fulfilment, in which people can pursue their own independent destiny and be true to themselves. According to existentialism, the notion of responsibility is central to living genuinely. The existentialist author Jean-Paul Sartre believed that each of us is the lone author of our decisions. We are nothing more than what we make of ourselves – the totality of our actions. It is tempting to give up the burden of responsibility. But in not taking responsibility for our actions we also give up our freedom. Our identity and independent destiny become subsumed to another. Not only do we give up responsibility for our actions, but we limit our experiences and relationships.For existentialists, individual destiny is rooted in these. Experiences, such as travel, can shake us out of our routines and give us space for self-reflection. Meanwhile, it is through the eyes of others that we catch sight of ourselves. Our interactions with others ultimately help us to establish who we are. Alexa lessens all of these. She takes responsibility for our decisions to some extent. She regulates our experiences. She manages our relationships. Just consider the fact that AI is already getting involved in hiring staff – this is a clear example of how we are outsourcing important human decisions. Where we gain in efficiency, we lose in spontaneity, serendipity and connectedness. From an existentialist perspective, digital assistants are dehumanising. They imply derogation of responsibility, detachment from experiences and disconnect from ourselves. By allowing circular bits of plastic to take off the rough edges, we seem to be unwittingly making our lives that much more artificial. An existentially authentic individual shows bravery in facing up to difficult choices. Unplugging Alexa and looking up at the sky to check the forecast might be a good first one to take. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Credit: Robert Couse-Baker/Flickr, CC BY-SA And it seems to be working – AI can now monitor our workplace performance, our financial score and, just over the horizon, our social value – all in the name of improving productivity (one should ask, for whom?). It is also starting to look after our infants and elderly. It is selecting suitable romantic partners for us through apps. Perhaps the ideal partner might even be an artificial one. Alexa’s creepy laugh is far from the most worrying thing about her. This is despite the fact that Amazon’s digital assistant – which allows users to access the internet and control personal organisation tools simply by speaking to the device – has been reported to spontaneously chuckle to herself. We shouldn’t be too concerned about her going rogue and turning on us either – a Terminator-style takeover by artificial intelligence doesn’t seem imminent. Citation: The existential case for ditching Alexa and other AI (2018, March 22) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-existential-case-ditching-alexa-ai.html Amazon to quiet Alexa’s cackling This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Provided by The Conversation But Alexa does pose one immediate threat. Rather than worrying about AI becoming more human, we should fear ourselves becoming more artificial by outsourcing important actions and decisions to devices like her. This idea hasn’t been discussed much. Research suggests that the public’s main concern about AI is instead it becoming super intelligent and developing a mind of its own. Various prominent science and technology experts, such as the late physicist Stephen Hawking and the entrepreneur Elon Musk, have warned of the potential risks of such a scenario. Yet Amazon and Google’s devices are popular, and were on many Christmas wish lists in 2017. Apple’s ad for their new Homepod contender, directed by Spike Jonze, has been generating online chatter. AI is creeping ever further into our lives. Digital home assistants are just one part of this.While the devices are intrusive – always listening in on our previously private spaces – many people find them worth it. They listen in so that they can learn on our behalf. They learn our routines and preferences and make recommendations for us.As a result, these machines can simplify day-to-day tasks and make life that little bit more efficient. Expensive adverts illustrate how they can tell us the weather without looking out of the window and change the TV channel without reaching for the remote. They can also look up recipes, dim the lights, distract a bored child and so forth. Alexa and her ilk can even think for us. Whether you need knowledge, answers or memories – it can all be conjured up with a quick call and outsourced to the cloud. Human inefficiencyBut how are these devices affecting us? For starters, lots of physical and intellectual tasks are streamlined or done away with altogether. The idea is that this makes us more efficient. read more