Terminators, Blockchain and the Cyber Security Skills Gap

Saragossa

Terminators, Blockchain and the Cyber Security Skills Gap

Automated weapons – a reality sooner than expected?

An article by Forbes this week spoke about the oncoming automation of weaponry. Artificial Intelligence is starting to take centre stage in the global arms development race, and those with a finger on the pulse are suggesting we may be closer than we think to a world where fully autonomous weapons systems are far more than just premises for science-fiction.

The idea of global missile defence systems that don’t require any sort of human input in order to operate is a frightening thought, and not one that can be treated as just a concept any more. As technology’s capabilities continue to increase, so does the likelihood that we will see fully autonomous, algorithm-based warfare in our lifetime.

The benefits of AI in a multitude of sectors are undeniable – from healthcare to entertainment, it seems that there is no end to the number of ways AI can be used to improve people’s lives. One could argue that it was inevitable that the same level of research would be put into weaponry. The obvious and immediate concern is what would happen if this technology were to be obtained by terrorist groups, and for that reason, many have already warned against investing further. But despite this, it appears as though automated weaponry is still something that is being explored. The onus is now on regulators and those developing this technology to ensure that it does not fall into the wrong hands.

The list of potential uses for blockchain expands

Famously, American conglomerate Walmart recently made use of a distributed ledger framework towards the end of last year, to track its green vegetables and ensure greater food quality and safety. Working with IBM, Walmart has set a powerful precedent and shown some of the real-world, practical uses of this still relatively niche technology – and blockchain enthusiasts are optimistic that more examples like this will arise in future.

It’s often been postulated that the uses of blockchain extend far beyond bitcoin and other cryptos, and Walmart’s example is one of the most powerful demonstrations of this to date. Another notable development is the news that HSBC has claimed to use a distributed ledger to make payments totalling $250 billion. Any adoption of blockchain in the financial sector, which has always had a reputation for being somewhat resistant to change, will be regarded as a huge win for the blockchain. Other hypothesised applications of a distributed ledger include in pharmaceutical supply chains, in shipping as an alternative to paperwork, and even in human rights projects. Whether blockchain will ever achieve the level of acceptance and adoption it needs to be everything it apparently can be is, of course, something that we will have to wait and see.

Immersive Labs receives $8 million investment

Cybersecurity skills platform Immersive Labs received substantial funding in the last week. Goldman Sachs led the funding round, with a number of anonymous private investors also getting involved. Immersive Labs provides IT and cybersecurity teams with up-to-date security skills, to enable them to keep up with the ever-changing and ever-developing arsenal of threats consistently being employed by cyber criminals.

Immersive Labs’ mission comes as a response to a perceived lack of cyber security talent currently available for businesses. Currently, according to the founder of Immersive Labs, the level of knowledge seen in recent graduates leaves a lot to be desired.

We’ve spoken a couple of times (here and here) about the benefits of external, self-motivated learning, particularly in highly technical roles such as software development and cybersecurity. Leah Walters, a Consultant at Saragossa who deals with a number of Cyber Security roles, commented: ‘In today’s competitive job market, having a degree or work experience simply isn’t enough any more – being able to demonstrate an interest in technology that extends beyond the classroom or workplace is essential. Platforms like Immersive Labs are great not only because they teach important skills, but because they give graduates and junior cyber security professionals the chance to demonstrate their genuine enthusiasm and stand out to potential employers’.

Saragossa are a talent provider specialising in the Financial Technology, Financial Operations and Data Science sectors. Our role is to match clients with high calibre candidates. Our work encompasses filling temporary contracts along with building permanent teams and resourcing projects. To find out more, please contact enquiries@saragossa.co.uk or call 020 7871 3666.

You may also like:

Investments, Security Tokens and Chatbots

FinTech 2018 – A Recap

It’s What’s Outside That Counts