Results tagged “security”

Has WannaCry Set A Precedent? Enterprises Need to Stay Prepared

Has WannaCry Set A Precedent? Enterprises Need to Stay Prepared

The WannaCry virus attack wreaked havoc in mid-May as it hit over 200,000 computers world-wide. The virus affected computers in 150 countries across North America, Europe and Asia, and the attack was the largest ransomware delivery campaign till date.

The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK was affected. Critical medical procedures had to be postponed, hospitals were unable to admit patients, and ambulances had to be diverted to other hospitals. Doctors had to briefly go back to pen and paper. In China, college and university students found their data encrypted by the virus. In Germany, the railway was affected, as was one of the largest mobile companies in Spain, Telephonica. The virus made its way to numerous other industries and businesses around the world.

How Flying Can Be 'Business Class' For Everyone

How Can Flying Be 'Business Class' For Everyone

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, at the dawn of the jet age, nothing was more glamorous than traveling by air. Frank Sinatra even had a hit song - "Come Fly with Me" - about those who were then known as the 'jet set' crowd.

How times have changed. Today flying, especially for the infrequent flier - not the business ones- can be rather unsettling. Security lines at airports are so long that travelers often need to get there a few hours before their flight is scheduled to take off. I say 'scheduled' because how many times has your plane left on time? You would think that with the array of digital tools, big data, and predictive analytics, flying would be as easy as shopping online. But this is not the case - weather, turnaround times, readiness of ground staff, and inter connected flights adds a whole set of hidden complexities to airport management. Unfortunately, airports and several players in the ecosystem have not adequately leveraged digital tools, and so consumers are yet to have the seamless experience that has become an integral part of other industries.

Tesla Autopilot Fatal Crash Raises Safety Questions [Source:]

I read with sadness a report about the first documented highway death of a 'driver' in a self-driving car. The investigation into the recent fatal crash is still in its early stages. But we know a few facts: First, 94 percent of all traffic accidents involve some kind of human error. Second, there is no turning back from automation and self-driving technology. Said one expert about the recent crash: "The path to mobility is paved with tragedy."

The incident got me to wondering: My car has a top speed of 137 miles per hour (220 kmph). While driving on the highway I often cross the 75 miles-per-hour mark (120 kmph). I often wonder if I should speed up and push the vehicle closer to its full-scale capabilities (and get to my destination much faster). Most of the time I choose not to do so, and there are many reasons for my decision to stay within the official speed limits. For one, I cannot be sure that someone driving erratically will be in a parallel lane up ahead. I also cannot accurately predict the condition of the road in front of me. There also could be an abrupt mechanical flaw in my own vehicle because of general wear and tear (or a manufacturing glitch). While I drive my vehicle within the stated security limits, there are always times I need to accelerate. When I do, I proceed with a more calculated risk.

Global cybersecurity market will be worth $170 billion in 2020  [Source:]

There are government contracts and then there are government contracts. The technology giant Raytheon recently announced that it won a five-year contract to help manage the computer security of 100 civilian agencies connected to the Department of Homeland Security. Experts said that such a contract, where Raytheon shares its proprietary cybercrime-fighting techniques and tools, could be worth upwards of US$ 1 billion. The official role for the company will be that of a 'prime contractor and systems integrator' for the Network Security Deployment division. Attached to that division is the National Cybersecurity Protection System.

We're hearing a lot about cyber security again, and it's not even the holiday shopping season. Why is that the case? For one, cybercrimes are no longer centered on jolly shoppers and their credit cards at Big Box retail chains and online retailers. Criminals are getting more sophisticated and learning to break into whatever computer system they can. Once in, experts say they can maneuver and sometimes patiently wait until they find the right digital gateway that brings them to a stash of information - otherwise known as a cyber-criminal's pot of gold.

Is It Time To 'Harden' The Internet?

In tech terms, 'hardening' refers to fixing a computer system - sometimes in various layers, with each layer requiring a unique method of security. Today, Internet protocol designers are talking about applying similar security methods to harden the Internet. But, that's no easy feat. Hardening the Internet requires a coordinated effort involving the research community, the infrastructure equipment development community as well as the network service operator community.

Discussions around hardening the internet has been around for over a decade, especially with regard to surveillance versus security. Historically, there has always been a conflict between the need for surveillance in the interest of national security and the need for network security for Internet users. Prevailing opinions are that pervasive monitoring is a technical attack that should be mitigated by the likes of Internet Engineering Task Force, a volunteer-run organization that promotes Internet standards protocols, wherever possible. The Internet engineering community has consistently taken a consensus position that pushes back against technology-based and indiscriminate government surveillance. The engineering community believes that extensive and indiscriminate surveillance is an assault on individual privacy, and that tightened protocols should make surveillance more expensive or not easily feasible in the least.

How Will The Insurance Sector Handle Aerial Drones?

Using drones to survey damage after a disaster [ Source: ]

Who knew a day in the park could become so complicated? Ever since man took to flying - first in large balloons, later in planes, and then even in helicopters - there have been miniature versions of these vehicles that have delighted hobbyists and flight enthusiasts for more than a century.

But hook a remote camera onto one of these devices, and you have a completely different device in your hands. At least that's what several countries and a bevy of recent laws have determined. A remote-controlled, unmanned flying device with a camera attached to it is, in many jurisdictions, considered by law to be a 'drone'. Drones are unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) with a wide range of commercial uses such as sports photography, atmospheric research or even goods delivery. Since drones do not have human pilots, they are remotely operated by using data link transmissions. They can be installed with powerful cameras, sensors or facial recognition technology. Operating a drone is a completely different ballgame, as far as the authorities are concerned. Instead of a day in the park flying a model airplane, drones might constitute trespassing or even invasion of privacy on the part of its owner.

Mobile Apps

If there's money to be had in a particular activity, you can be sure that thieves and criminals aren't far behind. One of the reasons we hear horror stories about cyber-crime is because the Internet is largely unregulated. I've often heard it compared to America's Wild West. No law and order gives way to swashbuckling criminals with bold schemes.

Perhaps the most troubling yet is ransomware - a type of malware that infects a computer in such a way that it restricts a user's access to his own machine. Can you imagine the panic if your computer has been locked and all your important files have been encrypted? Then comes a demand in the form of an on-screen alert - a ransom that must be paid to restore access. This is typically in the range of US$ 100 to US$ 300 dollars, and is sometimes demanded in virtual currency, such as Bitcoin! Infections caused by ransomwares can be devastating, and recovery can be a difficult process that may require the services of a reputable data recovery specialist. That specialist might charge more for his services than the actual ransom!

Security & Apple Pay

Is Apple Pay Vulnerable to Hacking? [Source:]

There are certainties in life. The sun will rise in the east and set in the west. And, rest assured, any Apple product you buy is going to be connected to every other Apple product currently on the market. But what about Apple Pay, the mobile payment service and digital wallet that the company unveiled in fall of last year? How does its connections to other Apple products help or hinder it?

Let's start at the very beginning. The initial idea behind Pay was to help consumers make payments using Apple mobile devices. Apple Pay would accomplish this feat by replacing the credit or debit magnetic strip at credit card terminals. Apple partnered with an array of blue-chip companies, including American Express, MasterCard, and Visa. At first, all seemed to be operating smoothly: Apple Pay worked with Visa's PayWave, MasterCard's PayPass, and American Express' ExpressPay terminals.

CyberPatriot Prepares Students to Protect the Internet of Everything [Source:]

Of all the unsettling stories of our Internet age, perhaps none is creepier than computer miscreants hacking into home video cameras or security systems. Whenever I hear an expert or colleague sing about the merits of the Internet of Things (IoT), I remind him or her of their home security systems that could be hacked by creepy outsiders. The story, though unsettling, puts things in perspective. That is, as wonderful as the IoT will be for our personal lives overall, what with all the conveniences involved, we have made a deal that is a formidable one - one in which our privacy and security is forever compromised.

That's why we have to be more vigilant - like it or not. Convenience and the wonders of technology come with a price. Besides, the IoT is already just about everywhere. There are nearly five billion connected things and this number could climb to 25 billion by 2020, according to the folks at Gartner. Now it is true that the IoT promises a smoother life, such as the ability for consumers to keep track of their groceries and energy consumption on their cell phones. We will even receive alerts when milk is running low. Everything, including our homes and our heartbeats (did you see the recent Apple iWatch event?) will be monitored to make our lives more flexible and downright easier.

There's an emerging user authentication method for the web called FIDO. FIDO stands for Fast IDentity Online, and it portends to revolutionize the way consumers connect with their digital devices. When I say digital devices, I mean all of them. The point of FIDO is that it can leverage any hardware support available on a user device. That even covers things like microphones (via speaker recognition), cameras (via face recognition), fingerprint sensors, and my personal favorite, behavioral biometrics. This last item is a true sign that Artificial Intelligence is already upon us and has so many wonderful applications.

I think FIDO is an authentication method to watch for other reasons as well. For starters, it typically focuses on ease of use, security, and standardization. The primary objective is to enable online services and websites, whether on the open Internet or within enterprises, to leverage native security features of end-user computing devices for strong user authentication. Plus, let's not forget about the effort to reduce the problems associated with creating and remembering many online credentials. I know of no one who doesn't think having to retain multiple passwords is a royal pain!

Strong authentication is the first pillar of trusted networks

Strong authentication is the first pillar of trusted networks

Weren't computers supposed to save us time and add convenience to our lives? Technology was supposed to liberate us. Rather, it appears as though we're becoming beholden to the devices around us because of the pesky password.

Recent findings about passwords and online security certainly indicate that we're trapped in our own devices. Consider these sobering statistics: The average computer user has 25 accounts, uses 6.5 passwords, and logs in eight times a day. So say researchers at Microsoft. Add to this rosy scenario the fact that these days there are so many new types of gadgets. From the perspective of storing and remembering passwords, things aren't so rosy.

Remembering Multiple Passwords is Passé
Passwords have become even more difficult to remember and key-in, especially on small and cumbersome keyboards, which are common on mobile devices

Today life does not move without a fast and robust Internet connection. Be it banking, insurance, booking a movie or travel ticket, or shopping, the Internet has become a crucial part of everything we do.

Moreover, the services and demand surrounding the internet are increasing every day on both ends - the providers and the consumers. Of course, it all used to be a lot simpler: Users sat at their desks and navigated the web from their large desktops and laptops. But they've moved en masse from the standardized world of PCs to the fragmented and diverse world of smartphones and tablets. With emerging mobile users and an equally mobile workforce, even applications have become mobile. They are no longer hosted at a centralized datacenter but in the cloud.

Is The Death Of The Type-In Password Near?

What does Twitter's `Fabric' tool do for apps? [Source:]

Finally! It took years and several high profile, wide-scale corporate security breaches, but American companies are finally being nudged into issuing credit cards with embedded microchip technology. To Europeans, this technology is nothing new. But the legacy technology characterized by the old magnetic strip put up quite a battle for an extended lifespan in America. We're all glad to see that organizations there are putting it to rest in favor of the technologically superior microchip.

It always seems that cyber-crooks are one step ahead of everyone else, so when consumer-focused organizations take the digital security of its patrons very seriously, it's a positive step for global commerce. In that same spirit I heard the news that Twitter will very soon be offering a new tool for developers that could one day spell the end of the traditional type-in password. I think we can all agree that type-in passwords, like magnetic strips on credit cards, are antiquated. They can also be a pain in the neck. How many times have you visited a Web site only to be forced into clicking on the "Forget Your Password?" link?

Sending Money Socially

In France, Transferring Money With Tweets [Source:]

The power of the proverbial wake-up call. Some of us are lucky to receive them. They keep us nimble and always push ourselves and our organizations to improve. But there are those among us who are unlucky; they're the ones who don't receive wake-up calls. Remember the man who, more than 100 years ago, said the 'horseless carriage' wouldn't catch on because of all the petrol stations that would have to be built to serve them? Then there was the executive in the 1970s - a computer company CEO, no less - who said he could never see people keeping computers in their homes.

Today we received a couple of huge wake-up calls. The question is: who will heed them and who will ignore them? The call involves the fact that a French mega-bank, Groupe BPCE, is teaming up with Twitter to allow customers to transfer money via Tweets. And that's not all. Indian private sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB) has launched a Facebook-based instant fund transfer service where money can be transferred to users' friends on social media network in real time and for free!

@ Israel: Business and beyond


I'm back from an invigorating trip to Israel. But the excitement, really, began a while ago with a vision that we have at Infosys:  To become the network of networks, where we bring together innovation networks from around the world and make it all relevant to our clients. In recent times, I've been engaging with several research and innovation networks in Australia, Finland and Netherlands. Infosys Labs, in tandem, is looking to leverage the external innovation ecosystem as part of our efforts to evaluate early stage technologies that can energize this agenda. And Israel - the highly innovative country that it is - topped our consideration list as we began our early explorations. 


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