Ian Barker

You better watch out -- online retailers' security practices under the spotlight

Santa naughty or nice

This time of year sees a spike in online shopping activity, but that also means added worries about how well our information is being looked after when we buy online.

Password management company LastPass has put together an infographic 'naughty and nice' list looking at how online retailers store information when we shop.

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Cloud-based tracking creates an internet of lost things


Electronic tags to help stop you losing stuff are nothing new. But usually they rely on Bluetooth or similar to sound an alarm when an object goes out of range.

A new solution from Canadian company Linquet mixes the cloud and the sharing economy to track tagged devices in a kind of internet of lost things.

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Philips launches full HD display with easy one-plug access

231P4QU_for leaflet_silver

Anyone who's tried to connect a notebook to a big screen for use in meetings or presentations knows it can be a process that's fraught with difficulty, particularly when it comes to finding the right connection and cable.

The latest release from electronics giant Philips solves this problem by offering simple, one-plug access to desktop equipment, networks, intranet and internet via a single, super-speed USB cable.

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E-cigarettes can damage your PC's health


Using e-cigarettes, or vaping, is widely touted as being healthier for you than smoking tobacco, however, it may not be so healthy for your PC.

Many e-cigarettes offer a USB charging option but a story on social news site Reddit suggests that this is a potential source of malware attack. An executive's PC became infected after he'd recently given up smoking and the infection was traced to his e-cigarette charger.

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The rising importance of big data to big business

Big data

Analysis of large volumes of information is increasingly used by businesses to gain an advantage. A new infographic produced by big data specialist Datameer looks at how it’s being used to gain a competitive edge.

Among the highlights are that the global Hadoop Market is projected to be worth $50.2 billion by the year 2020, a huge increase from the $1.5 billion it was worth in 2012.

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Cloud-based software is a major revenue source for service providers

cloud money dollars

Communication service providers (CSPs) have spent the last few years investing heavily in cloud software provision to expand their business.

A new report by Israel-based Allot Communications shows that this is paying off as software as a service is now a major revenue source for CSPs.

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Personalized marketing is the key to consumer's wallets

Personalized mail

Sending out generic marketing emails and scatter-gun coupon offers is no longer enough to attract the attention of consumers and can in fact have the opposite effect.

Predictive marketing company AgilOne has released the results of a survey which shows that online shoppers appreciate personalized communication -- as long as it's done right.

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The security challenge of business mobile devices

photo by Slavoljub Pantelic, Shutterstock

The trend towards mobile devices and BYOD is great for productivity but it creates new challenges in terms of keeping information secure.

Identity and access management specialist Ping Identity has produced an infographic looking at the vulnerabilities introduced by letting employees use mobile devices.

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XSS vulnerabilities open the door to drive-by downloads

Web script

Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities allow attackers to inject script into web pages in order to infect client computers.

Security company High-Tech Bridge has released a report revealing that 95 percent of XSS vulnerabilities can be used to perform sophisticated drive-by-download attacks, which infect users who open harmless-looking URLs that they trust. More worrying is that 90 percent of vulnerabilities can be exploited in such a way that even advanced users and IT professionals won't suspect anything. The structure and architecture of more than 70 percent of web applications allows the creation of a sophisticated XSS exploit that can perform several fully-automated actions, ultimately giving full administrative access to the attacker. This access can then be used by hackers to compromise the entire website and even the web server.

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New venture aims to completely rethink enterprise security


Up to now cyber security has generally taken a defensive approach to protecting data and intellectual property.

That’s set to change as a team of industry experts has got together to create a system that's aimed at dramatically improving the reliability and security of enterprise data and applications running in both cloud and conventional environments.

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Splice Machine reduces the cost and complexity of building database applications

Database design

Databases are important to enterprises of all sizes, but building applications to exploit data effectively can be time consuming and expensive.

Now Splice Machine, maker of the only Hadoop RDBMS (relational database management system), is making its product publicly available for the first time. It will allow database architects and app developers to build real-time, scalable applications without the burden or cost of a traditional RDBMS.

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Celebrating 60 years of software

birthday cake balloons

There's an old computing joke that says the difference between software and hardware is that hardware is the bit you can kick.

To celebrate software's 60th birthday business package selection specialist Capterra has produced an infographic charting the history of the bit you can't kick. It'll provide a trip down memory lane for anyone involved in computing.

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Build your own 3D printer in 90 weekly parts

3D Printer_4834_v04

We've all seen those adverts for partworks allowing you to build a scale model of the Titanic at a cost not far off that of raising the real thing.

Now though UK publisher Eaglemoss Collections is producing a partwork that allows you to produce something a bit more useful. In 90 weekly parts it lets you make your own working 3D printer.

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DGA malware evolves to get past security solutions

Malware spy

Malware developers are constantly shifting the goal posts in order to evade detection mechanisms. Part of this involves changing the domain names used to communicate with command and control servers and spread infections.

The latest trick identified by security company Seculert is the increasing use of Domain Generating Algorithms (DGAs).

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DDoS attacks fall as defenses improve

DDoS attack

New research from DDoS protection specialist Black Lotus shows that cyber attack incidents have continued to decline throughout this year.

There were 201,721 incidents in the third quarter of this year (down from 462,621 in Q1 2014 and 276,447 in Q2). This can be attributed to the security industry's increased knowledge and filtering against NTP DrDoS types of attacks, as well as more proactive activity to stop malicious attacks before or as soon as they're detected.

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