BetaNews Staff

Insurance companies hesitate to leverage big data -- but things are changing

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Insurance companies are mostly reluctant to use big data analytics to rate their customers’ driving habits, but the trend is slowly picking up pace, a new report by PTOLEMUS Consulting Group says.

The report is based on an analysis of the world’s 27 largest usage-based insurance (UBI) policies, including those of Admiral, Allianz, Allstate, AXA, Generali, Desjardins, Direct Line, State Farm, The Hartford, UnipolSai, Uniqa and Zurich. It says the number of UBI policies reached 14 million at the end of Q3 this year, but things are still slow.

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Tape backups are too expensive


It’s almost 2017 and many organizations are still using tape to archive their data. According to a new report by Kroll Ontrack, that can be challenging, risky and expensive.

After polling 819 IT administrators, more than a quarter (27 percent) don’t have clear insight into which information is being backed up on legacy tapes. It can also be quite costly.

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One in three enterprises is not ready for digital transformation

Digital transformation

A third of enterprises, globally, are completely unprepared for the process of digital transformation, a new report by global data, market research and advisory firm Ovum says.

Six in ten (60 percent) of enterprises say that the process of digital transformation is "well advanced" or "in progress". However, just seven percent say the process is "complete". The financial services sector seems to be spearheading the charge, with 60 percent of enterprises saying the process is "well advanced".

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CA Technologies buys enterprise automation company Automic

ca technologies

One of the largest independent software companies in the world, CA Technologies, has announced it is acquiring enterprise automation company Automic. The parties signed a definitive acquisition agreement last Thursday, for a transaction that’s worth approximately €600 million (roughly £507m).

The deal has been unanimously approved by both boards of directors, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of CA’s fiscal 2017. Automic is an enterprise automation company selling ONE -- it’s automation platform.

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Oracle donates $1.4 billion for IT training in Europe


In an effort to foster increased digital literacy in Europe, Oracle has announced that it will donate $1.4 billion in both direct and "in-kind" support to ensure the continuation of computer sciences and skills in the region. These funds are part of a larger $3.3 billion worldwide initiative by the company to guarantee that in the future there will be enough skilled digital workers.

Oracle plans to use its donation to train 1,000 European people to use CS, Java and Database to a high-enough degree that they will be able to teach others to do the same. Over a three year period, the company will open 1,000 educational institutions called Oracle Academies in the region to accomplish this task.

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Amazon launches DDoS protection service AWS Shield

Amazon logo

Following the massive attack that took down the servers of the DNS service provider Dyn and a number of high profile websites including Netflix, Twitter, Spotify and Reddit last month, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced a new technology to protect sites against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

The new tool, which is called AWS Shield, was announced at the company's re:Invent developer event in Las Vegas. Amazon's own site was affected by the attack on Dyn and the company has now decided to launch its own DDoS protection service to ensure that its site and those that use AWS are able to withstand future attacks.

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Many CEOs believe technology will make people 'largely irrelevant'


Although artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and other emerging technologies may reshape the world as we know it, a new global study has revealed that the majority of CEOs now value technology over people when it comes to the future of their businesses.

The study was conducted by the Los Angeles-based management consultant firm Korn Ferry that interviewed 800 business leaders across a variety of multi-million and multi-billion dollar global organizations. The firm says that 44 percent of the CEOs surveyed agreed that robotics, automation and AI would reshape the future of many work places by making people "largely irrelevant".

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Social engineering attacks are a real threat to most organizations

Security attack keyboard

Social engineering, as a method of cyber-security attacks, is very popular and quite widespread, according to a new report by cybersecurity firm Agari. It had polled 200 professionals from healthcare, government, financial services and education sectors.

Six in ten (60 percent) of security leaders say their organization either was, or "may have been" a victim of at least one targeted social engineering attack, on the last year alone. Two thirds of those attacks (65 percent) led to employees’ credentials getting compromised.

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Amazon unveils artificial intelligence platform

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During its re:Invent developer event in Las Vegas, Amazon announced its new Amazon AI platform which will make many the company's machine learning tools available to developers to use in their apps and websites.

Andy Jassy, the CEO of Amazon Web Services, explains that the company has a great deal of background in machine learning, saying: "We do a lot of AI in our company. We have thousands of people dedicated to AI in our business". Amazon has decided to release three tools that take advantage of its AI to developers with the launch of its new platform.

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Which programming language should you learn?

developer laptop

Students of all ages have always been encouraged (and even required) to learn multiple languages. But these days it’s not French or Latin that has the big impact. Forget accents and umlauts, many of the best and brightest students, business leaders and employers are taking the time to learn about tags, brackets, and commands -- that is, they are learning programming languages.

Today, 21st century business is founded on software and there is scarcely a brand on the planet that isn’t looking into how it can be transformed through data. To put it simply, the quality and performance of your software -- be it a web application, e-commerce platform or mobile app -- must be spot on or your customers will look elsewhere.

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Mirai malware spreads to routers in new countries


According to security firm Flashpoint, the latest strain of the Mirai malware responsible for infecting Deutsche Telekom routers has spread to devices in at least 10 countries other than Germany.

The firm has discovered that the new strain of Mirai has infected routers in places like the UK, Brazil, Iran and Thailand. It is still unknown how many devices have been infected in total, but Flashpoint estimates that five million devices could be vulnerable to the malware.

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Ransomware attacks to decrease in 2017


Ransomware is expected to deflate a bit next year, but hackers won’t be resting on their laurels, that’s for sure. Instead, they might just move to dronejacking, for a "variety of criminal or hacktivist purposes".

This is according to McAfee Labs, whose new report, the McAfee Labs 2017 Threats Predictions Report, identifies 14 cyber-security trends to watch in 2017.

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Intel creates Automated Driving Group

Intel logo building

After announcing that it would supply Mobileye and Delphi with chips to power their autonomous driving systems, Intel has announced that it has created a new group that will focus solely on designing self-driving solutions.

Intel's Automated Driving Group (ADG) will be led by Doug Davis who will move from its Internet of things (IoT) group to act as senior vice president and strategic lead. Kathy Winter from Delphi will work under Davis, handling day-to-day operations and will act as the VP and GM of the new group.

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SUSE buys HPE's Cloud Foundry and OpenStack assets

Handshake cloud sky

SUSE has announced that it will acquire OpenStack and Cloud Foundry from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) in a move to accelerate the company's growth and entry into new markets.

The German company will integrate the assets of OpenStack infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) into its own SUSE OpenStack Cloud. SUSE will use Cloud Foundry and its platform-as-a-service (PaaS) assets to help it bring a certified, enterprise-ready solution to market for all of the customers and partners currently using its ecosystem.

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BMW will invest €500 million in automotive startups

bmw logo car

BMW Group has announced that its i Ventures division will be investing €500 million over the next 10 years on new car technologies in an effort to bolster its progress in developing autonomous vehicles.

The company's i Ventures division will use the money to invest in startups working on technologies such as autonomous driving and mapping that will allow BMW to improve its cars by making them both more intelligent and efficient.

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