BetaNews Staff

BT to offer customers Microsoft Azure services

Cloud handshake collaboration

British telecommunications company BT has announced  a new offering, expanding the cloud choice for its customers. BT Computer for Microsoft Azure allows BT’s customers to order Microsoft Azure together with BT’s cloud.

With the new offering, according to BT, customers will be able to create hybrid cloud infrastructure with a single service wrap, on a single bill.

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Knowing your unknowns

minority report

On a daily basis, the news is filled with stories about things that "should never have happened".  Last weekend’s headline, "Improvised Explosive Device Explodes in New York City’s Chelsea Neighborhood", is one tragic example. No one could have anticipated the attack, but through the use of cameras placed throughout the area, law enforcement was able to identify a suspect and track his movements within hours.

In the real world, no one can know every single threat that could exist in the future, or when it might happen. You can make educated guesses with the right intelligence and data, but you can’t predict with certainty. This is why New York, London, and other metropolitan areas have installed surveillance cameras. They’ve done this so that if a situation does unfold, they can quickly triage and provide authorities with immediate and accurate information to inform response and investigation.

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Office workers want the latest technology, or else they'll quit

office workers

Business owners, pay attention. If you don't step up your technology game, your employees might leave you. This is according to a new global report from Dell and Intel, entitled Future Workforce.

Based on a poll of 4,000 full-time employees all over the world, it tried to understand how modern technologies are shaping the office world.

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9 best practices for accepting payments via mobile device and mPOS

Direct pay

Is your business accepting payments on mobile devices, or considering it? If so, you are in good company. Large retailers, such as Nordstrom’s, have seen increased sales after integrating an mPOS (mobile point of sale) solution. Major restaurant chains, including McDonald’s and Olive Garden, are using it, too. In fact, a report by 451 Research projected that by 2019, the global mPOS installed base will reach 54 million units, which is quadruple the number from 2015.

According to a Juniper Research report, by 2021, more than one in three POS systems will be mobile. It’s no wonder mPOS solutions are catching on. They are not only convenient, but also provide tangible benefits to both merchants and customers. Shortened transaction time, elimination of lines, scalability capability, and less reliance on cash all increase sales and heighten customer satisfaction. But any data transfer comes with risk. To ensure a safe and secure mPOS experience, follow these best practices:

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Leaked credentials affect the largest 1,000 organizations worldwide

hacker username password login

Data breaches have become the norm in recent years with 2014 earning the nickname the "year of the data breach" and 2015 being known as the "year of the breach". So far in 2016, even more data breaches have been made public, including LinkedIn, MySpace and Dropbox and we will likely see more before the year comes to a close.

For companies, being the victim of a breach is unnerving enough, but there also implications to their reputation, brand and finances. However, breaches also have an indirect impact on organizations and some end up facing the "collateral damage" of such an attack for some time after the initial breach.

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Healthcare, Telecommunications, Retail and Transportation: How do they stack up on security awareness?

security device work office Mac unsecured

Breaches and attacks have run rampant through most major industries, and organizations are beginning to realize the importance of employee and stakeholder security awareness. Healthcare and retail have been in the brightest spotlights with the rise in ransomware and credit card data breaches in the last couple of years, but they are not the only ones facing this challenge. Wombat Security's Beyond the Phish report found that telecommunications and transportation industries also struggle with a wide range of security issues.

Ultimately, an organization can improve its defenses by elevating the level of security best practices across its employees and addressing the biggest offending categories of awareness.

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Five strategies for creating a culture of information security

Shredded paper

Data protection has historically been viewed as a function owned by a few individuals, or the domain of the IT department. However, it is vital that all employees share the responsibility of preventing and mitigating information security breaches.

When an organization creates a corporate culture dedicated to data protection, it provides more disciplined operations, increased customer and stakeholder trust, and minimized risk.

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Education will shift away from classrooms in the future

Education Students Woman Man Laptop

Classrooms could be a thing of the past by 2025, according to new research by Polycom. Its Education in 2025 -- Technology Innovation survey takes a closer look at education and technology and has some interesting takeaways. While almost two thirds (64 percent) of respondents believe students engage with content primarily in the classroom, just a quarter (25 percent) believe that will still be the case in ten years' time.

More than half (53 percent) of education professionals believe real-time video collaboration and mobile devices will be the number one way students will engage with content in 2025. At the moment, however, things should be much, much better than they are.

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Microsoft raises dividend, launches $40 billion share buyback program


Microsoft has authorized a share buyback program that will see the company reacquiring $40 billion of its own shares, just over nine percent of the company.

This is the fourth $40 billion buyback program launched by the company, which said that it will complete the first round by the end of this year. Microsoft's most recent buyback was first announced in 2013 and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016.

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Homes are getting smarter, but not more secure

Smart home

Smart homes aren’t something that’s going to happen in "the near future" -- smart homes are happening today. They’re no longer reserved for the early adopters or geeks, too. In some places, they’ve reached the "tipping point" -- they’re basically mainstream now.

This is according to a new and fairly extensive research by the non-profit prpl Foundation. In its study, The prpl Foundation Smart Home Security Report, it surveyed 1,200 people in the UK, US, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, and concluded that people should be more careful with their home routers.

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Number of data breaches rises by 15 percent

Data breach wall writing man

The number of breaches and their severity are both growing, a new report by digital security company Gemalto is saying.  Titled Breach Level Index, it says there has been 15 percent more data breaches in the first half of 2016, compared to the last six months of 2015.

A total of 974 data breaches were reported worldwide, amassing 554 million compromised data records, in the first half of 2016. It is also interesting that in more than half of cases (52 percent), the number of compromised records were not disclosed at the time of reporting. Looking specifically at the UK, there have been 61 breaches, most of which happened at the government sector (14). Finance and healthcare sectors were close second and third.

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Businesses spend nearly $3 billion a year on mobile connectivity

business mobile employees team

The cost related to mobile connectivity through roaming, pay-on-demand Wi-Fi and free Wi-Fi is costing businesses in Europe and North America at least $2.91 billion every year. This is according to iPass, provider of global mobile connectivity.

The cost is high because, as the report puts it, mobile professionals have an "insatiable need for connectivity". When traveling and working on the go, they spend on average 6GB every month. The report has an interesting conclusion -- free Wi-Fi is not always as free as you’d think. These connections, being available to everyone, can often be slow, unresponsive and crowded. Business users are then stuck on these slow connections, which are hurting their productivity, which then reflects on the bottom line.

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Oracle buys cloud security company Palerra


Oracle has announced that it will purchase the cloud access security broker (CASB) Palerra, making this the company's eight acquisition in 2016.

The deal was announced at the beginning of Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco and the amount which the company is paying for Palerra has yet to be disclosed. Oracle made the decision to purchase the company for its Loric software product as it "protects and assures compliance of applications, workloads and sensitive data stored across cloud services".

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Server sales are up, but revenue is down

rack room servers IT

New research has revealed that despite increased server sales, revenue has continued to decline for the companies responsible for manufacturing and shipping servers worldwide.

The analyst firm IDC brought this information to light in its new Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker report, which covered server market share and revenue from April to June 2016.

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DDoS attacks rarely strike businesses just once

GitHub hit by biggest DDoS attack ever

A company is rarely attacked by a DDoS (distributed denial of service) just once. If it happens once, it will probably happen again, which is why constant preventive measures are required, if a company wants to keep their online services operational.

These are the results of a new report by Kaspersky Lab. Entitled Corporate IT Security Risks 2016, it says that one in six companies were victims of DDoS attacks in the past 12 months. The majority of those attacks were aimed against construction, IT and telecommunications companies.

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