BetaNews Staff

Cyber criminals using insiders to carry out telecommunications attacks


Cyber criminals are frequently turning to insiders to gain access to telecommunications networks and subscriber data, according to a new report from Kaspersky Lab.

According to the report, 28 percent of all cyber-attacks and 38 percent of targeted attacks now involve malicious activity by insiders.

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Windows, Mac or Linux... Which operating system best suits your business?

operating system

With all the options out there, organizations may be having a hard time deciding which operating system to go with. The three most common are Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. But which is the best for your business?

An OS should have a robust set of characteristics to serve the diverse needs of a busy office. It should be reliable and secure, yet flexible enough to scale with business demands. The user interfaces should be feature-rich and easy to navigate for both end-users and IT administrators. Windows remains by far the most popular, used in around 85 percent of businesses, with Mac a distant second and Linux operating systems hanging in at over 5 percent.

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Ransomware: 3 seconds to encryption


Imagine how you would feel if everything on your entire PC hard drive was encrypted, and somebody was demanding a large sum of money from you to make it accessible? This scenario is exactly what happens to thousands of people every day when they are infected with ransomware, and it is essentially a digital hold up. Though your life is not in danger, you face the imminent threat of catastrophic consequences from the loss of irreplaceable data.

Much of the attention in the industry is focused on the damage caused by ransomware. The common belief is that most ransomware infections are caused by human carelessness, so there is no guarantee that you will never get infected. So the focus really needs to be about how to detect and respond to a ransomware infection.

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Will we ever be able to go entirely laptop free?


In a world that is fast producing new technologies every year, it’s interesting to read what technologies are reported to being on the decline. For example last month, a study from comScore has shown that desktop browsing is fast becoming a thing of the past.

In the article, from April 2016, it was stated that over the past four months, desktop use for Internet browsing has been consistently below the recorded amounts for the same time period last year. Alongside these figures, it is also stated that desktops are losing share to mobile, which now accounts for 65 percent of digital media time spent. As a result, mobile devices seem to be replacing the traditional PC -- in the age of being connected anywhere and at any time, this is hardly surprising, but what lies ahead for the other devices we hold dear?

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Biometrics are less secure than passwords -- this is why


Many technology pundits talk about biometrics as the ultimate authentication solution -- the technology that will make the 'imperfect' password obsolete. Despite the hype, most companies are approaching with caution. In fact, CEB found that there are varied degrees of biometrics adoption globally, as around 20 percent of firms have actually deployed the technology.

A big reason for low adoption could be that they are less secure. And while many are touting the security of biometrics, there are four issues to consider when evaluating the technology.

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Is it time to say goodbye to spreadsheets?


CFOs and Finance Directors have long been warned against the inaccuracies of spreadsheets when it comes to financial planning and analysis. However, as with everything in life, change can often be difficult to accept and this is often the case when it comes to businesses and their financial tools. Sometimes this is because they are reluctant to try something new, but alarmingly, more often than not, it is because the businesses are not aware of the different options available.

Research from Accountagility shows that 72 percent of CFOs consider their firms to be too reliant on spreadsheets. The larger the company, the more spreadsheets are deployed, and the greater the issues and headaches that occur. While Excel is clearly a central tool in many offices, businesses must also consider finance-friendly alternatives that address these risks whilst also respecting the need for control.

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This is why gigabit internet is such a big deal


You’re watching the Game of Thrones episode you’ve been looking forward to all week, and just when you get to the pivotal scene, the stream cuts out, forcing you to adopt the salty language the show itself is known for. Your slow internet connection and your modem might face your wrath! Deep breath. Keep calm. Changes are afoot and internet connections are getting faster. How much faster?

Gigabit internet is the next generation of broadband technology and it is 159 times faster than the global average of 6.3 Mbps. A cross section of wired and wireless operators are all racing to deploy gigabit connectivity to feed our insatiable appetite for bandwidth. After all, Game of Thrones is renowned for building whole new worlds that were hardly possible on a television show just a few years ago, and communication service providers realize they’ve got to keep up.

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Why encrypting virtual machines is so challenging


Virtual Machines have been mainstream for some time, and many IT managers think they have good management processes in place; they know where their machines are, their status, and the function they are performing. But is that enough? Whilst virtual machines (VMs) allow an IT infrastructure to be extremely agile in Private, Public and/or Hybrid Cloud environments, they also create opportunities for weak points, where data can be compromised.

Encryption is one of those major weak points, where VMs can be deployed without an encryption policy being followed, subverting compliance, and leading to machines in a live environment that lack the required protection. More often than not, those VMs will contain sensitive data.

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US internet speeds lag behind the rest of the world


The United States Has a Speed Problem! If you’ve spent any time checking your email or surfing the internet while traveling in other countries, you probably noticed the internet was faster. When it comes to internet connection speeds, the United States doesn’t even crack the top twenty.

The fastest internet in the world is found in South Korea, where the average connection speed is 26.7 Megabits per second (Mb/s). Countries like Romania, Thailand, and Bulgaria all offer faster speeds than the United States. Incredible as it seems, if you rely on the internet for your work, you may be able to get more done on that beach vacation in Thailand than in your office at home.

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The glue that binds smart cities together


The visage of our 'smart' or 'connected' destiny is often presented to us in broad strokes: self-driving vehicles, connected homes, logistics, wearables -- the list continues on with each piece of evolving and maturing technology.

Smart cities have a bright future, and the application possibilities seem expansive, but often lost in the conversation is the technology that actually enables the connected world. Within a smart city -- or even at a micro level -- within one specific industry deploying smart technology, are a wide range of considerations:

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Businesses struggle to prevent data breaches

Security breach

Data breaches are everywhere, and companies feel they’re not doing a good job at preventing them. They are, however, taking steps to try and counter the trend. This is according to a new report by business documents management organization M-Files Corporation and the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM).

According to the report, more than a third (38 percent) of organizations have suffered at least one data breach in the past 12 months. Almost a third (31 percent) feel their company isn’t doing all it can to protect sensitive information, and 36 percent say their company doesn’t have a "formally documented policy" regarding data storage, management and sharing.

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Smart plugs have major security issues


Plugging things into a smart electrical plug might not be the wisest of choices at the moment, because they could easily be hacked, putting both your physical and digital life at risk.

This is according to a new report by Bitdefender, which says that smart electrical plugs could be hacked, and the attacker could not only gain access to your personal data, but also reprogram the plug.

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Nvidia slams Intel for fudging CPU vs GPU benchmark results

Finger Pointing

Intel’s recent claims that CPUs are better than GPUs when it comes to deep learning on neural networks has sparked a rebuttal from Nvidia. In case you don’t know what this is all about, here’s a short recap:

Machine learning is currently a really big deal. It’s a huge market with untapped potential in many industry verticals, which is why a lot of different companies are trying to get in on the action. It is widely taken as a fact that GPUs are a better solution than CPUs when it comes to deep learning, because neural networks require low precision computation, and not high-precision, which is what CPUs are usually made for.

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Security researcher accuses Microsoft of 'sneaky data mining' in Windows 10


Ah, you can never get enough paranoia nowadays, can you? Security researcher Mike Patterson -- founder and CEO of security analytics organization Plixer -- says Microsoft's Windows 10 sends encrypted data from your machine every five minutes, and there’s basically very little you can do to stop it.

Even when he opted out of everything he could find, regarding data transfer, the OS still continued to do it. The weirdest part about it is that you can’t really determine what is being sent. The content was encrypted so that it is impossible to know what’s going out, essentially hiding this information from the end-user.

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UK tech salaries continue to grow

Arrow and money staircase increase

Salaries for tech jobs in the UK are still rising in the second quarter of the year, despite the fact that the number of jobs in the industry is slowly declining. This is according to a new report by Dice, the online career site for the technology community.

Together with Watch, it lists the most wanted jobs and skills in the industry. The two companies say cloud and security skills are still most wanted, both in permanent and contract roles.

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