Cybersecurity Interest Group: Leveraging AI in Cybersecurity

Join the CompTIA Community Cybersecurity Interest Group as we discuss how AI is influencing the cybersecurity industry. We’ll be discussing the difference between the AI powering your security solutions and the Generative AI boom we’re seeing today, as well as some best practices when it comes to acceptable use in AI and keeping you and your customers’ data safe.

The session is taking place Monday 15 July 3.30-4.30pm BST 4.30-5.30pm CET

Register here:

Is ChatGPT or any other LLM AI ?

I've been around computers since around 1970. It was always said that AI was "just 10 years away" - but, of course, the 10-year milestone kept moving out.

I never believed in AI. My belief was that if I could figure out more-or-less how they were doing it, it wasn't AI. For example, facial recognition is not hard to figure out. And "Pick up the blue ball" may take some clever programming, but noting very intelligent about it.

Until ChatGPT. That changed my view, dramatically. And yes, I do think it is AI. Note, for example, that not even those who are developing it really understand how it is being done.

Introduce yourself here!

As a seasoned professional with a wealth of experience and academic achievement, I bring a unique blend of expertise and personal dedication to every endeavor. Beyond my impressive credentials—a testament to my commitment to continuous learning and growth—lies a profound personal journey.
Following the devastating loss of her husband, [Your Name] faced one of life’s most challenging transitions. In those trying moments, she found herself on the brink of giving up, grappling with grief and the daunting prospect of rebuilding her life.

However, my resilience shone through. With unwavering determination, I emerged stronger, embracing my roles as a devoted mother to two accomplished adult children and a cherished grandmother to five grandchildren. My journey is marked not only by academic triumphs—a degree in Computer Networking Systems, expertise in Project Management, and an MBA in Leadership and Management—but also by a profound personal growth born from adversity.
As a widow, I have navigated life’s challenges with resilience and grace, balancing the roles of a devoted mother to two accomplished adult children and a cherished grandmother to five grandchildren.

My educational journey reflects a deep-seated passion for knowledge and excellence. Armed with a degree in Computer Networking Systems, I mastered the complexities of technology, laying a solid foundation for my subsequent endeavors in Project Management. My MBA in Leadership and Management further enriched my skills, equipping me with strategic vision and insightful leadership abilities that have shaped my professional trajectory.

Beyond my qualifications, I embody a compassionate spirit and a steadfast commitment to community and family. My experiences have instilled in me a profound understanding of empathy and perseverance, qualities that resonate through my professional and personal life alike.
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UK & Ireland UK& Ireland Community Meeting & Spotlight Awards

Have a look at the full day's presentations, and resources from speakers and CompTIA, your trade association. Here to help you in your business.

Community Meeting: Regional Group Meeting and Spotlight Awards – summary:
•58% of businesses say they’re in better shape today than two years ago.
•Automation is on the increase.
•Cyber Security is still very high on the agenda.
•Disaster recovery is one of the few services MSPs are being asked for.

Adam Pilton from CyberSmart, took us on a storytelling journey about how we continuously leak so much data!

James Doherty from Indigo Mentoring explained why mentoring is important before handing over the stage to Lizzie Robinson & Paul Croker. They engaged the audience with questions such as “What keeps us awake at night?” and “Who do we attract prospects to engage and talk to with us?”

Just before the half-time whistle, Andrew Allen delivered a sneak peek into CompTIA's new mentoring program, including the mentorship handbook and guide. 12 people signed up on the spot 🎉

After lunch, Ian Groves took us through some of the resources available within the CompTIA portal that can be used as a guideline or framework for MSPs, whether you’re a start-up or an existing business looking to fine-tune operations.

Are you in the news? Carl Jones delved into this topic and split out all how PR people will engage with you and help promote that story. First, you need to understand who your PR contact is and how they’d like the information delivered to them. If you make it difficult, they’ll not engage.

Self-Sabotage: This was a hot topic, and we’re all guilty of it somehow. Teresa Heath-Wareing took to the stage and immediately engaged the audience. It was an excellent keynote that I’ll remember for a long time!

Dash to our hotel; changed and back from Spotlight Awards.

Congrats to:
•Future Leader: Claire Jenks
•Advancing Women in Tech: Georgia Howlett
•Community Leadership: Dan Scott
•Cybersecurity Leadership: Mostyn Thomas
•Advancing Diversity in Tech: inSOC
•Solution Provider: Start Tech
•Innovation Vendor (tie): Salesbuildr & Sophos
•Innovation Distributor: Pax8
•Associate Member (tie): ITbetweeners & Network Group

**Credit to @Robert Gibbons, Chief Revenue Officer at Aabyss Ltd for the above summary.


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Important Agricultural Drone Motors Maintenance Tips

As a crucial component of multi-rotor drones, the motor system has strict reuiqrements on horizontal accuracy. Even minor installation errors or loose parts can affect flight stability. Therefore, regular pre-flight calibration is essential to ensure stable flights and prevent potential serious failures.


Two key parts for motor system maintenance:

Ⅰ, Inspection and cleaning of propellers and clamps .

  • Check whether the propeller blades are deformed, cracked, or have any damage such as notches on the edges; check whether the propeller clips are cracked or the screws are loose. If there is any damage, please replace it in time.
  • Clean the blades and clips.

Ⅱ,Checking level and adjust the motors

  • Check whether there is deformation, damage or objects attached on the motor. If so, clean or replace it immediately.​
  • First, place the level on the GPS mount and adjust the drone body to ensure the bubble is centered on the level in both the Y-axis and X-axis directions, as shown in the picture (Note: Don’t flip the level, and ensure the bubble is centered and not touch the scale lines).​

  • Then, place the level horizontally on the M1, M2, M3, and M4 motors, and adjust the motor to ensure the bubble is in the center of the level. (Note: The bubble must be centered ).​

Proper pre-flight motors checking and regular maintenance significantly reduce failure rates and extend the drone's lifespan, ensuring the safety of your flights. Choose an efficient, safe agricultural drone to make your work easier.



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SaaS How SaaS Companies Can Prepare For Embedded Finance

Software as a Service (SaaS) has become the backbone of modern business operations, with its value reaching approximately $195 billion last year. However, the competitive landscape, evolving business models, and shifting user expectations post-pandemic have introduced significant challenges for SaaS providers. These include soaring acquisition costs and shrinking return on investment, making new revenue streams essential for enhancing customer retention strategies.

The Role of Embedded Finance

Embedded finance offers innovative solutions to these challenges by integrating banking and payment capabilities into nonfinancial ecosystems. For instance, purchasing insurance when booking a holiday or applying for a bank account through expense management software are examples of embedded finance. This integration aims to generate revenue and increase the value of existing products.

Why SaaS Companies are Embracing Embedded Finance

  1. Deepening Customer Relationships:
    • Embedded finance provides financial services such as bank accounts, payments, and lending, which help SaaS providers deepen their relationships with customers. These value-added services can reduce price competition and maximize the return on customer acquisition investment.
    • By analyzing financial data generated through embedded finance tools, SaaS providers can gain valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences, enabling them to tailor their offerings more effectively.
  2. Unlocking New Revenue Streams:
    • Embedded finance allows SaaS providers to diversify their income streams and enhance revenue. For example, Shopify reported a threefold increase in revenue from merchant solutions, which include financial products and fulfillment services.
    • By partnering with regulated fintechs, SaaS providers can tap into transaction fees, interchange revenue, and premium financial service offerings. Experimentation with various financial services and business models can unearth opportunities for scaling and differentiation.
  3. Empowering Customers:
    • Integrated financial services offer tangible tools that enhance customers’ competitiveness, such as automated expense management and real-time financial insights.
    • Embedded finance fosters financial literacy and responsibility among users, strengthening the provider-customer relationship and contributing to the long-term success and stability of businesses.

As SaaS providers navigate the challenges of a competitive and evolving market, embedded finance presents a promising avenue for growth and customer retention. By integrating financial services into their platforms, SaaS companies can deepen customer relationships, unlock new revenue streams, and empower their customers with valuable financial tools.

Discussion Questions:
  1. How do you think embedded finance will evolve in the SaaS industry over the next few years?
  2. What potential challenges do you foresee for SaaS companies integrating embedded finance into their platforms?
  3. Can you think of any other industries that could benefit from embedded finance? How?
Feel free to share your thoughts and insights!

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Women in Technology Let’s celebrate International Women in Engineering Day

International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) is a significant event that highlights the achievements and contributions of women in the engineering sector. This day, which has gained international recognition, originates in a UK-based campaign initiated by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) in 2014. By 2016, the campaign received UNESCO patronage; the following year, it was celebrated globally.

The Women’s Engineering Society has a rich history. It was founded in 1919 in the UK. During the First World War, many women were employed in technical fields. However, post-war societal norms and legal changes made it challenging for these women to continue their engineering careers. This led to the establishment of WES by pioneering women who were determined to create opportunities for women in engineering. As the International Women in Engineering website noted, "A change in the law to return women engineers to the home just as their sisters were admitted into the civil service and legal professions led to the establishment of WES by pioneering and influential women."

While there has been progress since the early days of WES, the pace of change remains slow. The Society of Women Engineers, an American professional organization, reports an increase in women in STEM fields in the United States. However, this increase is not uniform across all fields. Engineering, in particular, lags behind life sciences, such as biological sciences, where gender parity has been achieved. Furthermore, the representation of Black and Asian women in engineering fields is notably lower.

As we celebrate International Women in Engineering Day, we must recognize both the progress made and the remaining challenges. This day reminds us of the importance of supporting and encouraging women in engineering and STEM fields, ensuring diversity and inclusion in these critical areas of innovation and development.

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Artificial Intelligence Understanding The Hype Around GenAI: Marketing Edition

Artificial intelligence (AI) is officially transitioning from niche to trend to mainstream, with most businesses accepting—even embracing—its usefulness to improve operational efficiencies. Now, the next generation of AI is already here: generative AI, or GenAI.

Unlike traditional AI, which is trained to analyze data and make predictions within preset parameters, GenAI is further capable of creating entirely new data in all types of formats (text, images, music, videos, and more). Where traditional AI lets you ask Alexa to play your favorite hip-hop song, GenAI can re-create that song with the same lyrics but to the tune of, let’s say, Beethoven’s greatest symphony.

While that’s an amusing application of GenAI for entertainment, GenAI also has the potential to impact millions of people around the world by enhancing the one thing that supports our day-to-day lives: energy.

From AI To GenAI In The Energy Industry

Since it takes years of data collection and training to fuel GenAI, it’s important to first look at what traditional AI is doing in the energy industry today. Similar to other industries, AI has a foothold in customer-facing interactions like customer service chatbots. AI’s greatest impact, however, arguably has been helping utilities realize the full benefits of smart meters.

With nearly 120 million smart meters deployed across the U.S., smart meters make up a distributed network of intelligence already connected to the grid—and provide a treasure trove of data for AI to analyze and learn from.

Through smart meters, AI introduced the ability to disaggregate consumption data, which allows utilities to analyze data at the individual home level (and even appliance level) rather than at the standard neighborhood level. Utilities, as a result, are turning smart meter data into powerful insights that drive key initiatives—particularly load forecasting and grid planning, fuel switching and appliance upgrade programs, and theft detection.

Like most AI integration across industries, this new capability was originally a nice-to-have function. Now it’s essential and in nearly every new data analytics request for proposal (RFP).

‘Bolt-On’ To ‘Built-In’

Currently, AI is being layered onto data once it’s extracted from the smart meter (hence “bolt-on”). Now, some progressive meter companies are offering AI analytics features built into the meter itself.

Aside from the obvious benefit of not requiring customers to participate in surveys or install monitoring hardware, utilities gain AI-powered insights in much more real-time. This could include, for example, inside-the-meter monitoring of rooftop solar generation across the grid for a real-time view of supply versus demand.

What are your thoughts on the transition from traditional AI to GenAI in the energy sector? How do you think this evolution will shape the future of energy management and consumption? Let's discuss!

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