Ian Barker

CRM is no longer enough say leading software companies

CRM jigsaw

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are no longer enough for the digital era, according to more than 200 software companies.

In a declaration published as an open letter in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, the Platform of Independents set out its belief that companies should never be locked into CRM suites, and that building better products, respecting customer privacy, and making smarter business decisions requires more than a one-size-fits-all approach to their technology stacks.

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Phishing dominates the UK threat landscape


Using analysis of the last three year's worth of data breach information from the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), cyber security awareness platform CybSafe has revealed that phishing breaches have jumped significantly.

In 2019, UK organizations reported more cyber security breaches to the ICO than ever before. A total of 2,376 reports were sent to the public body last year, up from 540 in 2017, and 1,854 reports in 2018.

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Fake 'compensation' scheme exploits fears of data leaks

cash trap

A new online fraud scheme is designed to trick people into thinking they are owed compensation for data leaks only to scam them out of cash.

Researchers at Kaspersky uncovered the scam which tries to get users to purchase 'temporary US social security numbers' at a cost of around $9 each. Victims have been found in Russia, Algeria, Egypt and the UAE, as well as other countries.

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Why consumers must adopt a 'zero trust' approach to security [Q&A]

Trust card

A lot has been written about the consumerization of IT, but when it comes to personal security Josh Wyatt, VP of global services engagement at Optiv Security, believes consumers would be well served to take a page from the corporate cybersecurity playbook and adopt a 'zero trust' security strategy.

We recently spoke with Josh to find out how zero trust security can help consumers defend against cyberattacks, what types of threats we need to be aware of, and how this all relates to the business world.

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2019: The year in cyber attacks

Cyber attack

Check Point Research has released its 2020 Cyber Security Report, looking at the key malware and cyber-attack trends during 2019.

Even though cryptomining declined during 2019, linked to cryptocurrencies' fall in value and the closure of the Coinhive operation in March, 38 percent of companies globally were impacted by crypto-miners in 2019, up from 37 percent the previous year. Crypto-miners remain a low-risk, high-reward activity for criminals.

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Majority of workloads will be in the cloud by the end of 2020


Organizations are becoming more comfortable and familiar with cloud technology while recognizing its increasing benefits. 85 percent of respondents to a new survey say they expect to have the majority of their workloads on the cloud by the end of this year, and 24 percent plan to be cloud-only.

The study from cloud services provider AllCloud also shows more than 56 percent of respondents say that at least half of all their cloud workloads are using containers or microservices.

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Why secure data exchange is vital for the fintech industry [Q&A]

financial data exchange

Over the past few years, we've seen a surge in popularity for both consumer fintech apps, as well as fintech services for businesses.

This shift in the financial services ecosystem has empowered users to take greater control of their financial lives, equipping them with tools to better understand how and where they spend their money, increase their credit scores, prepare taxes, aggregate disparate financial and investment accounts, among many other applications.

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New Year's resolutions go digital as people vow to cut screen time

sleeping with phone

If you haven't made or broken any New Year's resolutions yet, here are some you might like to try. Research from Kaspersky indicates that 40 percent of people plan to change their digital lifestyle in 2020 with most aiming to reduce the time they spend with their gadgets.

The research shows 42.3 percent would make a digital New Year's resolution for 2020 rather than something more traditional.

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US government-funded phones come with pre-installed malware

Mobile app threats

Researchers at Malwarebytes have uncovered malware pre-installed on phones offered under the US government-funded Lifeline Assistance program.

Assurance Wireless by Virgin Mobile offers the UMX U686CL phone as their most budget-friendly option at only $35 under the scheme. However, users are getting more than they bargained for. An app called Wireless Update is designed to update the phone's OS but can also install other apps without consent.

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Why your business needs cyber risk insurance [Q&A]

risk jigsaw piece

Protecting against cyberattacks and guarding against technology failures is something that most businesses now do as a matter of course. But insuring against the risks is less common and could be leaving companies open to major losses.

We spoke to Jack Kudale, CEO of cyber insurance specialist  Cowbell Cyber to find out more about cyber risk insurance and why it's increasingly being seen as an essential safeguard.

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TiKTok vulnerabilities could allow hackers access to personal data

TikTok app

Multiple vulnerabilities in the popular TikTok video-sharing app and its back end could have allowed attackers to manipulate content on user accounts, and even extract confidential personal information.

Researchers at Check Point have found that an attacker could send a spoofed SMS message to a user containing a malicious link. If the user clicked on the link, the attacker was able to access the user's TikTok account and manipulate its content by deleting videos, uploading unauthorized videos, and making private or 'hidden' videos public.

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Implications for CEOs who miss security targets [Q&A]

Uncomfortable board meeting

Increasingly IT security is seen as an issue for the entire organization. This means it's often included in business targets, but setting these in a meaningful way -- and being able to meet them -- is a major challenge .

We spoke to Joseph Carson, Chief Security Scientist and Advisory CISO at Thycotic, to find out more about the difficulties of setting and measuring the success of targets for security.

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Alexa, have you changed your hair?

virtual assistant

People tend to anthropomorphize their virtual assistants, assigning them personalities and physical features such as age, facial expressions and hairstyles according to research from Canada's University of Waterloo.

But giving these qualities to virtual assistants could cause people to reveal more personal information to the companies that own them than they otherwise would, says the study.

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How the cloud can help enterprises break free from vendor lock-in [Q&A]

cloud button

In the IT industry, software vendors naturally focus their efforts on developing easier ways to onboard new customers and provide unique functionality on their platforms, but they rarely devote development cycles to making it easy to export workloads. As a result, it can be difficult to extract workloads and move between competing platforms. This is commonly referred to as 'vendor lock-in' and is especially concerning with databases and enterprise applications.

But, according to Chris Patterson, senior director of product management at Navisite, an RDX company, cloud computing offers an unusual opportunity for companies to break free from vendor lock-in. He believes cloud migration could alter the status quo, because when organizations decide to migrate their databases to the cloud, it also creates an opportunity to change to new alternatives, such as Amazon Aurora and Azure SQL.

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Security concerns and the benefits of 5G -- IoT and edge predictions for 2020

2020 predictions

Internet of Things devices are now an accepted part of our home and business lives. They've led to increased focus on edge computing too thanks to the large volumes of data they generate, but what do industry experts think is going to happen in this sector in 2020?

Karl Sigler, threat intelligence manager at Trustwave SpiderLabs thinks the dev-security lifecycle will become the Achilles heel for IoT devices. "IoT devices are not getting any safer. With the huge influx of IoT devices in homes and organizations, the attack surface targeted by criminals is just getting larger and more diverse. Manufacturers and developers need to take the security reins. But today's IoT solutions are often missing security quality assurance during their product development lifecycle. High bandwidth, direct connections to the internet via 5G will increase the threat of Mirai-like botnets. These direct connections will also provide attackers the ability to bypass perimeter protections that are normally in place in homes and organizations. All manufacturers should add security vetting to their product development lifecycle, especially with the cloud and 5G in mind, to get IoT device security in check before the number of vulnerable devices in the market becomes overwhelming."

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