Big Data Management

Microsoft's AI Data Exposure Highlights Challenges in AI Integration

Microsoft&amp's AI Data Exposure Spotlights Risks in AI Integration
  • AI models rely heavily on vast data volumes for their functionality, thus increasing risks associated with mishandling data in AI projects.

  • Microsoft's AI research team accidentally exposed 38 terabytes of private data on GitHub.

  • Many companies feel compelled to adopt generative AI but lack the expertise to do so effectively.

Artificial intelligence (AI) models are renowned for their enormous appetite for data, making them among the most data-intensive computing platforms in existence. While AI holds the potential to revolutionize the world, it is utterly dependent on the availability and ingestion of vast volumes of data.

An alarming incident involving Microsoft's AI research team recently highlighted the immense data exposure risks inherent in this technology. The team inadvertently exposed a staggering 38 terabytes of private data when publishing open-source AI training data on the cloud-based code hosting platform GitHub. This exposed data included a complete backup of two Microsoft employees' workstations, containing highly sensitive personal information such as private keys, passwords to internal Microsoft services, and over 30,000 messages from 359 Microsoft employees. The exposure was a result of an accidental configuration, which granted "full control" access instead of "read-only" permissions. This oversight meant that potential attackers could not only view the exposed files but also manipulate, overwrite, or delete them.

Although a crisis was narrowly averted in this instance, it serves as a glaring example of the new risks organizations face as they integrate AI more extensively into their operations. With staff engineers increasingly handling vast amounts of specialized and sensitive data to train AI models, it is imperative for companies to establish robust governance policies and educational safeguards to mitigate security risks.

Training specialized AI models necessitates specialized data. As organizations of all sizes embrace the advantages AI offers in their day-to-day workflows, IT, data, and security teams must grasp the inherent exposure risks associated with each stage of the AI development process. Open data sharing plays a critical role in AI training, with researchers gathering and disseminating extensive amounts of both external and internal data to build the necessary training datasets for their AI models. However, the more data that is shared, the greater the risk if it is not handled correctly, as evidenced by the Microsoft incident. AI, in many ways, challenges an organization's internal corporate policies like no other technology has done before. To harness AI tools effectively and securely, businesses must first establish a robust data infrastructure to avoid the fundamental pitfalls of AI.

Securing the future of AI requires a nuanced approach. Despite concerns about AI's potential risks, organizations should be more concerned about the quality of AI software than the technology turning rogue.

PYMNTS Intelligence's research indicates that many companies are uncertain about their readiness for generative AI but still feel compelled to adopt it. A substantial 62% of surveyed executives believe their companies lack the expertise to harness the technology effectively, according to 'Understanding the Future of Generative AI,' a collaboration between PYMNTS and AI-ID.

The rapid advancement of computing power and cloud storage infrastructure has reshaped the business landscape, setting the stage for data-driven innovations like AI to revolutionize business processes. While tech giants or well-funded startups primarily produce today's AI models, computing power costs are continually decreasing. In a few years, AI models may become so advanced that everyday consumers can run them on personal devices at home, akin to today's cutting-edge platforms. This juncture signifies a tipping point, where the ever-increasing zettabytes of proprietary data produced each year must be addressed promptly. If not, the risks associated with future innovations will scale up in sync with their capabilities.



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Big Data Management

NetSuite Extends Analytics Warehouse to Help Customers Gain Greater and Faster Value from Data

PR Newswire | October 18, 2023

Oracle NetSuite today announced the latest updates to NetSuite Analytics Warehouse – the first and only AI-enabled, prebuilt cloud data warehouse and analytics solution for NetSuite customers. The latest updates will help organizations improve data management so customers can quickly build analyses to increase efficiencies and reduce costs, gain a better understanding of their customers, and leverage data to innovate and grow faster. NetSuite Analytics Warehouse is now available to customers in North America, Israel, U.K., Ireland, Spain, France, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Philippines, and Singapore. Organizations need to make sense of the vast volumes of data they create, and that can often be an extremely complex and time-consuming task, said Evan Goldberg, founder and EVP, Oracle NetSuite. NetSuite Analytics Warehouse changes all of this by bringing together data from across a multitude of applications and leveraging AI to recognize patterns and turn that data into actionable insights. Creating a single source of truth and applying the latest advancements in AI helps our customers quickly unlock value from their data and turn it into a business advantage that drives growth. Built on Oracle Analytics Cloud and Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse (ADW), NetSuite Analytics Warehouse leverages AI to harness business data and accelerate value creation. It consolidates and centralizes data, including NetSuite transactional data, historical data, as well as data from other cloud or on-premises applications, and then guides the business user on their path to actionable insights. The latest updates to NetSuite Analytics Warehouse provide: Analytics Embedded in User Dashboards: Customers can now add links to important and frequently-used visualizations from NetSuite Analytics Warehouse to NetSuite dashboards. Customers can efficiently track key metrics and drill into charts based on NetSuite data blended with other relevant systems' data. This gives direct access to the comprehensive insights needed for data-driven decisions in the moment, without the need to toggle between applications. More Frequent Data Refreshes: New data pipeline settings give customers more current insights into their financial, sales, and inventory activity. Customers now have greater flexibility to schedule the frequency and time of data refreshes, so they can get more value from their data. Enhanced Analysis of Financial Data: The new financial analysis subject area helps customers analyze financial activity from different angles and incorporate more business systems data to identify areas for P&L improvement. The new budget subject area helps to track and adjust resource allocation with budget vs. actual scenario analysis. Deeper Insights: New line-level details enable customers to conduct analysis below summary level into key revenue-impacting subject areas like sales order and inventory activity. This provides deeper access to role-based business insights and encourages data-backed decision-making across the organization. Improved User Access Management: New Single Sign-On simplifies user authentication with a single logon to NetSuite and NetSuite Analytics Warehouse. In addition, all customers have greater flexibility applying user view and access rights to analytic content. New roles and dimensions, such as department, subsidiary, and sales territory enable a user, for example, to view a dashboard chart but not the underlying transaction detail. Customer Success with NetSuite Analytics Warehouse NetSuite Analytics Warehouse is helping organizations across industries consolidate and enhance their data with AI-backed insights. BirdRock Brands offers high-quality goods for home, outdoor, pets, kitchen, holidays, and the office. With thousands of orders each day, BirdRock uses NetSuite Analytics Warehouse to calculate and forecast profitability, track inventory in motion, and forecast warehouse capacity. "NetSuite Analytics Warehouse helps us elevate our business intelligence by delivering impactful visualizations into our business processes," said Mark Chuberka, NetSuite administrator, BirdRock Brands. "With thousands of daily orders and ever-evolving requirements for inventory, webstore development, sales, and business planning, the AI features in NetSuite Analytics Warehouse help us make more informed decisions based on patterns and customer insights." Overture Promotions helps brands build creative promotional marketing programs. Overture uses NetSuite to support its end-to-end in-house services, which span supply chain management, ecommerce, inventory management, warehousing, and packaging. "It is not enough just to have data. We need to be able to pull insights from that data to drive improved business outcomes," said Brian Lisinski, chief financial officer, Overture Promotions. "With NetSuite Analytics Warehouse, we gain predictive insights from our sales trends, channels, and product lines to inform our supply chain plans and to make proactive decisions that will increase customer satisfaction. In short, NetSuite Analytics Warehouse helps us turn data into decisions." Terlato Wine Group, a multi-generational family business that markets and distributes fine wines and artisanal spirits, is using NetSuite Analytics Warehouse to enhance decision-making and gain the insights it needs to successfully deliver premium beverages from world-class producers to customers. "Prior to using NetSuite Analytics Warehouse, we were overly reliant on spreadsheets and manually adjusting data, but as our product portfolio expanded, we knew this was not sustainable," said Chris Janes, head of integrated enterprise systems, Terlato Wine Group. "NetSuite Analytics Warehouse brings together all our data and leverages AI to provide clear insights to help us better understand sales trends and ensure resources are allocated to key growth areas. NetSuite has been a game changer and is providing the strategic insights and new features we need to stay nimble as we grow."

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Big Data Management

NetApp Empowers Secure Cloud Sovereignty with StorageGRID

NetApp | November 08, 2023

NetApp introduces StorageGRID for VMware Sovereign Cloud, enhancing data storage and security for sovereign cloud customers. NetApp's Object Storage plugin for VMware Cloud Director enables seamless integration of StorageGRID for secure Object Storage for unstructured data. NetApp's Sovereign Cloud integration ensures data sovereignty, security, and data value while adhering to regulatory standards. NetApp, a prominent global cloud-led, data-centric software company, has recently introduced NetApp StorageGRID for VMware Sovereign Cloud. This NetApp plugin offering for VMware Cloud Director Object Storage Extension empowers sovereign cloud customers to cost-efficiently secure, store, protect, and preserve unstructured data while adhering to global data privacy and residency regulations. Additionally, NetApp has also unveiled the latest release of NetApp ONTAP Tools for VMware vSphere (OTV 10.0), which is designed to streamline and centralize enterprise data management within multi-tenant vSphere environments. The concept of sovereignty has emerged as a vital facet of cloud computing for entities that handle highly sensitive data, including national and state governments, as well as tightly regulated sectors like finance and healthcare. In this context, national governments are increasingly exploring ways to enhance their digital economic capabilities and reduce their reliance on multinational corporations for cloud services. NetApp's newly introduced Object Storage plugin for VMware Cloud Director offers Cloud Service Providers a seamless means to integrate StorageGRID as their primary Object Storage solution to provide secure Object Storage for unstructured data to their customers. This integration provides StorageGRID services into the familiar VMware Cloud Director user interface, thereby minimizing training requirements and accelerating time to revenue for partners. A noteworthy feature of StorageGRID is its universal compatibility and native support for industry-standard APIs, such as the Amazon S3 API, facilitating smooth interoperability across diverse cloud environments. Enhanced functionalities like automated lifecycle management further ensure cost-effective data protection, storage, and high availability for unstructured data within VMware environments. The integration of NetApp's Sovereign Cloud with Cloud Director empowers providers to offer customers: Robust assurance that sensitive data, including metadata, remains under sovereign control, safeguarding against potential access by foreign authorities that may infringe upon data privacy laws. Heightened security and compliance measures that protect applications and data from evolving cybersecurity threats, all while maintaining continuous compliance with infrastructure, trusted local, established frameworks, and local experts. A future-proof infrastructure capable of swiftly reacting to evolving data privacy regulations, security challenges, and geopolitical dynamics. The ability to unlock the value of data through secure data sharing and analysis, fostering innovation without compromising privacy laws and ensuring data integrity to derive accurate insights. VMware Sovereign Cloud providers are dedicated to designing and operating cloud solutions rooted in modern, software-defined architectures that embody the core principles and best practices outlined in the VMware Sovereign Cloud framework. Workloads within VMware Sovereign Cloud environments are often characterized by a diverse range of data sets, including transactional workloads and substantial volumes of unstructured data, all requiring cost-effective and integrated management that is compliant with regulated standards for sovereign and regulated customers. In addition to the aforementioned advancements, NetApp also announced a collaborative effort with VMware aimed at modernizing API integrations between NetApp ONTAP and VMware vSphere. This integration empowers VMware administrators to streamline the management and operations of NetApp ONTAP-based data management platforms within multi-tenant vSphere environments, all while allowing users to leverage a new micro-services-based architecture that offers enhanced scalability and availability. With the latest releases of NetApp ONTAP and ONTAP Tools for vSphere, NetApp has significantly made protection, provisioning, and securing modern VMware environments at scale faster and easier, all while maintaining a centralized point of visibility and control through vSphere. NetApp ONTAP Tools for VMware provides two key benefits to customers: A redefined architecture featuring VMware vSphere APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA) integration, simplifying policy-driven operations and enabling cloud-like scalability. An automation-enabled framework driven by an API-first approach, allowing IT teams to seamlessly integrate with existing tools and construct end-to-end workflows for easy consumption of features and capabilities.

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Big Data

Provider Density Data from LexisNexis Risk Solutions Shows Inequality of Provider Availability Across Regions

PR Newswire | October 06, 2023

LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, a leading provider of data and analytics, released new insights on the latest national and regional provider density trends for primary and specialty care. The analysis explores how often prescriber data changes, the metropolitan areas seeing the biggest change in the number of primary care providers (PCPs) and the metropolitan areas with the highest and lowest number of heart disease patients per cardiologist. Outflows of providers and coverage ratios can impact a community's ability to deliver accessible and efficient care, and with a looming shortfall of PCPs[1], it's important to understand where the existing PCPs are located. The analysis reveals the five metropolitan areas with the highest percent increase and decrease of PCPs between June 2022 and June 2023. According to the data, the Vallejo-Fairfield, CA area topped the list with a nearly 40% increase in PCPs. Conversely, the Fayetteville, NC area saw the highest decrease – losing nearly 12% of its PCPs. As chronic diseases continue to increase, the density of specialty providers becomes paramount. The provider density analysis examines the number of patients with heart disease per cardiologist in metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) spanning large, medium, small, and micropolitan areas. The data shows as MSAs get smaller, the number of patients per cardiologist increases substantially, with many rural communities having thousands of heart disease patients per cardiologist. Among major metropolitan areas, Boston has the best ratio with 196 heart disease patients per cardiologist, and Las Vegas has the worst ratio with 824 heart disease patients per cardiologist. Additionally, the analysis found significant degradation of prescriber data in a short period of time. Over a quarter of prescribers (26%) had at least one change in their contact or license information within a 90-day period. This finding is based on the primary location of more than 2 million prescribers and illustrates the potential for data inaccuracies, creating an additional challenge for patients navigating the healthcare ecosystem. "Data is an essential element to fueling healthcare's success, but the continuously changing nature of provider data, when left unchecked, poses a threat to care coordination, patient experience, and health outcomes," said Jonathan Shannon, associate vice president of healthcare strategy, LexisNexis Risk Solutions. "Our recent analysis emphasizes the criticality of ensuring provider information is clean and accurate in real-time. With consistently updated provider data, healthcare organizations can develop meaningful strategies to improve provider availability, equitable access, and patient experience, particularly for vulnerable populations."

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