BetaNews Staff

Businesses can minimize software costs by 30 percent

Reducing costs

Businesses can cut software costs by 30 percent if they stick to software management best practices, Gartner has announced -- research director Hank Marquis says potential savings are just "too large to ignore". Companies will spend $332 billion on it in 2016, so yes, it is a pretty big deal.

There are three best practices organizations can use to achieve these savings: optimizing software configurations, recycling licenses and using software asset management (SAM) tools.

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Microsoft Stream lets businesses securely manage and share videos

Microsoft Stream

Microsoft has announced a new video service called Stream that will enable businesses of all sizes to securely manage and share videos.

From today on, any user with a business email address will be able to sign up for the preview of the new service in seconds. With Stream they can then begin to upload, share and tag videos from their organization. It will also be simple to discover relevant videos since the company will employ machine learning to help users find trending videos and will also give them the ability to search by hashtag, most liked videos or other key search terms.

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Security pros lack the necessary tools to thwart cyber attacks

Security attack

A new study from the Ponemon Institute reveals that external cyber attacks cost enterprises $3.5 million a year and that the majority of security and IT professionals lack the necessary resources and infrastructure to deal with these attacks, despite the growing risks and costs associated with them.

A number of threats were examined in the report including executive impersonations, social engineering exploits and branded attacks that occurred outside of a company’s traditional security boundaries. To address these external threats, security professionals cited an ever-growing need for expertise, technology and external services.

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Everything you need to know about ransomware


Ransomware is one of the most feared security threats today and it is fast becoming one of the most profitable areas of cybercrime for attackers. It allows criminals to monetize their cybercrime efforts quicker than previous tactics allowed. Historically, they would have to steal their target’s data, and then find an avenue to resell that data to make it profitable. With ransomware, criminals are simply stealing a person’s data and selling it back to them for a price.

The victim already owned the data so they will definitely want it back. This therefore means the cybercriminal does not have a hard sell ahead of him. In addition to this, with the rise of anonymous currency, such as Bitcoin, there is even less of a chance of cybercriminals getting caught. Attackers can make hundreds to thousands of dollars per infection and get paid immediately, instead of going through other risky steps to make a profit.

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Internet of Things and virtual reality will become essential to office life

office workers

If your office technologies are not up to today’s standards, millennials are going to dump you. Seriously, almost half (42 percent) of people in that age group are willing to quit their job for this reason. The revelation is made in the Future Workforce Study, released by Dell and Intel.

In it, it says that employees don’t really consider today’s workplaces "smart", even though they believe offices should definitely move in that direction.

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Qualcomm facing record fine in South Korea for breaching fair trade rules

Google to cough up $19 million in kids' in-app purchases case

Qualcomm is facing a $900 million fine in South Korea after its Fair Trade Commission found that the California-based chipset company had charged smartphone manufacturers unfairly for its mobile processors.

The company was found guilty of breaching fair trade rules at the conclusion of the agency’s 17-month investigation. Qualcomm charged Samsung, LG and other South Korean smartphone manufacturers higher licensing fees than it should have for its mobile processors. The company used the wholesale price of a smartphone to calculate the fees as opposed to the actual cost of the chips.

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Amazon's AWS buys Cloud9 startup

Amazon AWS

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has acquired the San Francisco-based startup Cloud9 for an undisclosed sum in an effort to add more development tools to its web services stack.

The company was founded in 2010 and gives remote teams of developers the ability to work together to develop, edit and test code across 300 different browsers and operating systems.

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IT security pros shouldn't try to 'prevent everything'

hand stop

A new survey by Countercept by MWR InfoSecurity highlights all the frustrations IT security experts are experiencing as they’re trying their best to protect their company’s assets and employees.

The survey, conducted during Infosecurity Europe, asked 301 IT security professionals about their company’s ability to detect and deter cyber-attacks.

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No one is safe -- security quo vadis?

security eye

With McAfee looking for a new home, Symantec acquiring Blue Coat, NewGen Unicorns claiming they are the "next best thing" since the invention of the wheel, and years of criticism from analysts and users alike about the loss of efficacy, the Anti-Virus market is being hit from all directions. Into this upheaval, the acquisition of AVG Technologies by rival Avast Software was recently announced.

This mayhem within the AV market highlights two issues: the market is confusingly saturated with security vendors telling similar AV replacement stories, and the AV incumbents know that they need to change or lose. This is leading to an industry-wide trend of accumulating even more solutions to face off the criticism, the newcomers and the loss of market.

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Older Brits like to shop on tablets

Old elderly woman tablet

Tablets might have a rough time ahead of them, but if you ask UK’s consumers, aged 55 and above, they’re quite nice to use for shopping.

That’s according to a new report by Bronto Software, which says that twice as many people in this age group (22 percent) use tablets for shopping, compared to their US (11 percent) and Australian (11 percent) peers. The UK has more tablets (60 percent), compared to the US (57 percent) or Australia (54 percent), and Brits use it for shopping more frequently (34 percent) compared to these two countries (25 percent and 19 percent, respectively).

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Stampedo ransomware available for just $39

Money hands coins

A new variant of ransomware has been found for sale on the dark web for an incredibly low price that allows its victims 96 hours to pay a fee.

This new piece of ransomware is called Stampedo and it is available for only $39 which includes a lifetime license. Once it has infected a user’s system, a fee must be paid within the allotted time in order to regain access. If a user fails to pay the fee, Stampedo begins to delete random files on their computer within six hour intervals.

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Microsoft will release Azure Stack in mid-2017

Cloud access

Microsoft has announced that its Azure Stack offering won’t be released before mid-2017. What’s more, it will come in appliance form, with just a few vendors -- so far only Dell, HPE and Lenovo -- being mentioned.

Announcing the news in a blog post, corporate vice president for Enterprise Cloud, Mike Neil, says the decision has been made following months of feedback gathering.

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Jaguar wants to let you choose how your car drives autonomously

Jaguar logo

Just nine months after setting up a £11 million research fund into autonomous vehicle technology, Jaguar Land Rover announces that it plans to have 100 driverless cars out on the streets by 2020.

In October, the company began working with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ESPSRC) with the plan of creating fully autonomous cars.

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Printers can let hackers take control of Windows PCs

Printer printing

Security researchers from Vectra Networks discovered a serious vulnerability in Windows which allows hackers to take control over complete computer networks through vulnerable printers.

The report didn’t say which versions of the operating system are affected, but the patch is already issued and you can find it here and here. Everyone who has a printer attached to their system is strongly advised to patch ASAP.

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Ransomware victims pay less than they expect

Keyboard unlock open lock button pin

If you’re a cyber-criminal looking to enter the ransomware game, but not sure how much money you should demand for the unlocking of a victim’s files, don’t worry. Kaspersky Lab has done the research for you.

The security firm, together with B2B International, says people value their smartphone data, on average, at $682. In 39 percent of cases, the figure exceeds $1,000. On the other hand, cyber-criminals which have managed to lock a victim’s device through ransomware, usually demand $300.

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