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3 ways to be more adaptable to change

Developer team

One of the biggest things an organization can do to stay afloat and thriving in our current competitive landscape is to be readily adaptable to change. In contrast, one of the biggest mistakes I often see organizations make is not having a strong enough grasp on their IT infrastructure to do so.

This means that when a problem arises, decision makers will often act out of instinct and make changes that then create further problems or cause unexpected side effects. Once you can quickly and properly survey the technological and/or organizational landscape you’re working with, being adaptable to change can be almost effortless. Below are a few tactics to help you remain adaptable to change and avoid potential catastrophe in the face of an uncertain market.

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London insurance market turns to tech to maintain its world-leader status

London skyline

A survey, by IT services provider NTT DATA, of senior leaders in the London insurance market shows a major appetite for technological change within the industry.

It finds that 70 percent of insurance leaders are looking to invest in robotic process automation (RPA) in the future, while 51 percent are focusing their budget on AI and machine learning, exploring use cases like using AI in underwriting to recognize patterns in large data sets and inform human decision making.

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Vectra helps enterprises protect against Office 365 breaches

endpoint protection

As more services move to the cloud, enterprises are exposed to increased risks from data breaches, and around 40 percent of organizations have suffered from Office 365 account takeovers.

According to Microsoft's Q3 2019 earnings call, there are more than 180 million monthly users on Office 365, which means there's a big attack surface out there for cybercriminals. That's why threat detection and response specialist Vectra AI has announced a new tool to help businesses protect themselves.

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TEAMGROUP launches T193 Stationery flash drive and PD1000 portable SSD

USB flash drives are rather ho-hum these days. Sure, they are still very useful products, but for the most part, they are all the same. You plug the drive into your computer to read and write files, and that's all that it does. Well, TEAMGROUP has a new such drive that does much more than just deal with files. Called "T193 Stationery," this flash drive also serves as a protractor, ruler, and magnifying glass. It even has a built-in magnet for good measure -- you can use it to pick up dropped screws or paper clips with ease. And no, the magnet isn't strong enough to interfere with other storage devices.

In addition, the company is also releasing a new USB-C portable solid state drive. Called "PD1000," this drive is only about storage, sadly. There are no useful tools built into it, like the T193 has. With that said, it is both attractive and fast, putting it in similar territory with the ADATA SE7760 we told you about a couple days ago. The PD1000, however, is also very rugged, offering protection from water, dust, and drops.

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Best Windows 10 apps this week

Three-hundred-and-seventy-four in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 10 on the Microsoft Store in the past seven days.

Microsoft started to roll out important changes to Windows Update recently that improve the installation of optional updates and third-party drivers.

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Microsoft is making it harder and harder to use a local account in Windows 10

Windows 10 boxes

Microsoft has always encouraged Windows 10 users to make use of a Microsoft account rather than a local one -- and it has been piling on the pressure.

In the US, Microsoft had already taken the step of hiding the option to create a local account during the installation of Windows 10, and now this seems to be spreading to other parts of the world. While there are undeniable benefits to working with a Microsoft account, the company appears to be reducing users' choices.

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Facebook will pay you for your voice recordings

Facebook on mobile in pocket

If you feel you should be able to benefit financially from sharing information with Facebook, there's some good news: the company is willing to pay you for your voice recordings.

The scheme is part of the social network's Pronunciations program, and it sees Facebook trying to improve its speech recognition capabilities. But if you're hoping to get rich, you might be a little disappointed.

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Malicious apps found on Google Play Store despite new App Defense Alliance

Google Play icon

Researchers at Check Point have recently found eight malicious apps containing malware on the Google Play app store, despite Google forming the App Defense Alliance in November 2019 to improve security of apps in the store.

The apps were camera utilities and kids' games and all carried the Haken malware. Check Point estimates the apps had been installed on over 50,000 Android devices before they were analyzed and removed from the Play store.

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Microsoft Defender ATP preview arrives for Linux distros -- iOS and Android versions to follow

Colorful Microsoft logo

Microsoft has released a public preview of its Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) for various Linux distributions.

The company says that the tool will also be coming to iOS and Android later this year, and more details of these mobile editions are due to be revealed at next week's RSA Conference. The spread to additional platform comes after Microsoft rebranded Windows Defender as Microsoft Defender last year.

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YouTube TV gets HBO

It's been almost two years since I cut the cord and switched to YouTube TV and I couldn't be happier. The picture quality and DVR remain top notch, while Google has consistently offered more and more channels -- some at no added charge, some at a premium. Since I initially subscribed, I now have additional channels that I watch regularly, such as Food Network, Discovery, and Tastemade. Believe it or not, I even find myself watching PBS on occasion. True, the price has gone up a bit from when I first subscribed, but look -- you get what you pay for, folks. YouTube TV is the best streaming television service and worth every penny. All of your devices, such as smartphones and tablets, become portable TV screens. It rules.

And now, the best is getting even better. You see, YouTube TV has made a deal with WarnerMedia to bring both HBO and Cinemax to the streaming service this spring. That is not all, either. The upcoming HBO Max video on demand service will eventually come to YouTube TV as well. If you didn't know, HBO Max will be the only place to stream wildly popular TV show Friends -- that is a big deal for a lot of people.

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Optimizing cost and availability when running SQL Server on AWS EC2

If you’re thinking about moving your SQL Server instances to the cloud, there are a lot of good reasons to choose AWS EC2. AWS offers a wide range of purpose-built systems, so you can easily find one that will support your organization’s particular needs. It has a global reach, with 69 availability zones in 22 geographically distinct regions around the world.

Building out a SQL Server infrastructure designed for high availability (HA) or disaster recovery (DR), though, can be costly. Are there ways to take advantage of AWS EC2 to reduce those costs? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is how much money you can save using AWS EC2 depends on the choices you make when configuring for HA and DR.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 Insider Build 19569, plus new colorful icons

Today, Microsoft rolls out the latest Windows 10 Preview build to Insiders on the Fast ring.

Build 19569 delivers the usual round of improvements and fixes, but Windows Insiders will from today also begin to start seeing new icons for built-in Windows 10 apps like Mail and Calendar.

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Popular document management apps expose sensitive files

cloud documents

Today's employees have access to a vast range of apps on their personal devices, but this can serve to undermine enterprise security because it's hard for IT teams to understand or control where sensitive corporate IP is going and how it's getting there.

The threat research team at Wandera has discovered a number of document management apps from Cometdocs that fail to use encryption when transferring files between the user and the backend service.

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Hackers leak personal data of 10.6 million MGM Resorts guests

MGM hotel

The personal details of 10.6 million people have been posted in a hacking forum after MGM Resorts hotels suffered a data breach. The data includes dates of birth, email addresses, names, phone numbers and physical addresses, and celebrities such as Justin Bieber and Twitter's Jack Dorsey are among those affected.

While the data has only just been leaked, it stems from a security breach that took place last year. Data dating back to 2017 was found accessible on an unsecured cloud server.

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Organizations are detecting and containing attacks faster since GDPR

web threats

For organizations in the EMEA region, the 'dwell time' between the start of a cyber intrusion and it being identified, has fallen from 177 days to 54 days since the introduction of GDPR.

A new report from FireEye Mandiant also shows a decrease in dwell time globally, down 28 percent since the previous report. Median dwell time for organizations that self-detected their incident is 30 days, a 40 percent decrease year on year.

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