BetaNews Staff

IBM and Visa want your IoT devices to double as point of sale terminals

Money devices Internet connected IoT

IBM and Visa want every Internet-connected device you own to be its own point of sale. The two companies announced the industry’s first collaboration to achieve this, through IBM’s Watson for IoT platform and Visa’s token technology.

Visa is currently powering 60 percent of the entire world’s payments and IBM’s Watson really needs no particular introduction.

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Fintech players need to build bridges, not walls


At a time where in certain parts of the world there is a desire to build walls, brick by brick, to keep people out, it’s ironic that elsewhere -- not least in the global fintech space -- the mantra is all about sharing, partnering, competitive innovation and freedom of movement within a well-governed environment.

That said, a number of the early digital advisory (or "robo") propositions have -- surprisingly -- been slow to recognize this sentiment, instead aiming to recreate a faster version of the conventional advice (or investment) experience -- "faster horses" syndrome. Hardly the stuff to make the big incumbents shake in their boots or lose any sleep.

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IT departments dealing with 'unrealistic expectations' in project assignments

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Just half of IT departments managed to complete all of the projects that they were assigned during last year, a new report by MuleSoft claims.

Based on a survey of 951 IT decision makers, MuleSoft’s Connectivity Benchmark Report 2017 says there is a widening IT delivery gap that is to blame for these results.

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How enterprises can overcome SaaS' data fragmentation challenge


When the Great Recession hit in 2007, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) began to catch the attention of enterprise CIOs as a favorable way to reduce the CAPEX necessary to provide their businesses with world-class IT services, and deliver more predictable OPEX. Fiscal reasoning may have been the carrot-on-the-stick, but CIOs were just as smitten by the promise of a simplified IT environment. It took several years for SaaS to firmly establish itself in the enterprise -- gaining a true foothold in 2012 -- and the delivery model is now considered mission critical by most enterprises. The "hands off" environment, rapid deployment potential and lower upfront costs all contributed to SaaS’s disruptive shift.

Notably, however, when SaaS was first being considered as an enterprise option, many cautioned that its use should be rooted in "vanilla" business applications that would not require complicated integration with enterprise data. Remember, SaaS burst onto the scene as a way to provide the SMB market with quick and affordable access to robust, single-purpose capabilities such as CRM or human resource management, but the applications were not particularly good at exchanging data in real-time, across transactional environments. "The convenience of using SaaS applications can mask a significant IT challenge of integration, both with other enterprise applications and with data sources," warned CIO Magazine.

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New macOS malware steals passwords and iPhone backups


Cyber security firm Bitdefender says it has recently uncovered a new type of malware which targets macOS users. The company says that the malware, which it has dubbed Xagent, is capable of stealing passwords, taking screenshots and grabbing iPhone backups stored on the machine.

Bitdefender says it still can’t be absolutely certain of who is behind the malware, but all evidence points in the direction of the APT28 cybercrime group. The company says this group uses the same dropper / downloader, as well as the same control center URLs. On top of that, Bitdefender says same artifacts have been hardcoded in the binary files.

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How to create a resilient DNS framework


Telephones used to have a dial. Television viewers used to have to get up to change the channel. Internet connections used to run at 56 kbit/s. And, not so long ago, organizations could run their service from a single data center. Their DNS servers were placed inside it with no contingency plan. After all, if the data center went down, the DNS server was useless.

But time and technology march on, and a single data center is now the exception rather than the norm. Enterprises run multiple data centers, sometimes in multiple countries, not to mention cloud regions and highly distributed networks. Consequently, your DNS needs to be just as highly distributed as your content. What good is a disaster recovery site if you have no way to direct your users to it?

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Tech Deals: Get a new Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming Laptop for only $900, plus other great bargains

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Why pay full price for a new laptop, desktop, or PS4 bundle, when you can get one for a fraction of the cost?

Courtesy of our partners at TechBargains we have yet another selection of fantastic deals, with huge savings to tempt you. Offers include money off new laptop and desktop PCs, HDTVs, electronics and components, and much more.

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A closer look at DevOps adoption in the enterprise


The speed of business today affects every part of the organization, and IT is no exception. That’s why traditional methods of developing and deploying software that split up the process into multiple teams and departments are being replaced by newer, more agile techniques such as DevOps. This removes silos to get people, process and tools working together to make the product delivery lifecycle faster and more predictive.

DevOps is fundamentally changing the IT landscape -- and that includes areas such as the database, which has often not been part of the traditional development model. New research that we recently carried out shows exactly how much of an impact it is having. Our global study of 1,000 organizations surveyed database professionals using SQL Server, ranging from C-level executives and IT directors/managers to database developers and administrators (DBAs). Half of them employed 500 people or more. The overall message was clear -- DevOps is becoming mainstream, and more and more people see the database as central to the process.

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Most UK businesses will be ready for GDPR


Whoever gets to enforce GDPR on businesses is going to have their hands full starting May next year. According to DMA, 26 percent of marketers believe their businesses are unprepared for the General Data Protection regulation, and just two thirds (68 percent) believe they will be compliant in time for the deadline, which is May 2018.

In the second edition of DMA’s "GDPR and you" series, it says that two thirds of marketers (66 percent) have "good" awareness, up from 53 percent in June last year.

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Hybrid clouds will become mainstream in 2017

Hybrid Cloud

We've been talking about the cloud for some years now and, while we may look back at 2016 as a year of growing enterprise cloud adoption, 2017 will be the year when hybrid clouds really enter the mainstream. Cloud is no longer "optional" for enterprises looking to remain competitive: with businesses demanding ever-greater agility from their IT functions and with data growth continuing to explode at an alarming rate, more and more IT departments are looking to move critical IT services to a combination of private and public cloud.

Research by Veritas in 2016 found that 38 percent of workloads today exist in a private cloud, with 28 percent in a public cloud. And these numbers are expected to grow at rates of seven percent and 18 percent respectively this year. Here are a few of my thoughts and on how businesses are going to transform the way they use hybrid cloud in 2017.

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Ford makes $1bn investment in Argo AI to research and develop self-driving car tech

Ford logo

One of the world’s largest car manufacturers, US-based company Ford, plans to invest $1 billion to research and build artificial intelligence for its vehicles.

Ford states that it will invest $1 billion in the Argo AI startup within the next five years, which will focus on building and developing self-driving car technology.

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Cyber attacks against the UK are increasing

Security attack keyboard

The number of cyber attacks launched against the UK has increased significantly with 188 high-level attacks occurring within just the last three months.

The news of the attacks came from Ciaran Martin, chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), who told the Sunday Times that a number of the attacks were sophisticated enough to threaten national security.

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UK tackles attacks with new National Cyber Security Center

Security Lock

The UK is getting a national center to combat cyber attacks, and it's the Queen who gets to open it. The National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) will reportedly be opened in central London by the Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh and Chancellor Philip Hammond.

The NCSC is part of intelligence agency GCHQ and has already tackled 188 attacks in the last three months. It will look for holes in sites belonging to the public sector, will tackle spoof emails and pull phishing sites down.

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The most secure messaging apps

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IT security has never been more prominent at the forefront of people's minds than it is currently. With a sadly regular supply of hacking horror tales, Internet users are now exercising a great deal of care with the information they share through their networks. Stronger passwords and a reluctance to add personal details are among the more common measures to have become widely implemented.

Another option which people are leaning towards is that of secure messaging apps, a selection of which are profiled in the infographic below by ERS IT Solutions. There doesn’t yet exist a messaging app that is completely impenetrable to hackers, but there are those which distinguish themselves for their encryption of messages so that even if they are intercepted, the messages can’t be deciphered by unsolicited parties.

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European businesses are not prepared to handle a cyber attack

cyber attack

More than half of companies in the UK, US and Germany (53 percent) are not prepared to face a cyber-attack. This is according to a new report by specialist insurer Hiscox, which has polled more than 3,000 companies for the report.

The Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2017 looks at four areas -- strategy, resourcing, technology and process -- and ranks companies based on such criteria. Most companies score fairly well for technology, but less than a third (30 percent) reach the "expert" score in their overall cyber-readiness.

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