BetaNews Staff

Edge Computing 101

Edge computing

Enterprises today have adopted a cloud-first mentality, and the numbers show it. According to a 2018 Gartner survey, investment is public cloud services will reach $186.4 billion this year, representing 21.4 percent growth from 2017. But there’s growth that is just as exciting and strategic taking place far from the cloud, down at the network edge in the world of end user devices, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and other network-connected systems.

Without strategic management of the network edge, investments in the cloud are going to run into trouble. To be a successful cloud-first enterprise, you need manage both the cloud and the edge equally well. Why is edge computing so important? Let’s take a look.

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GPUs have a new 'job' -- combating malware attacks

Intel executives have recently announced plans to redesign their processors at the silicon level in order to eliminate the notorious Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities.

However, the company’s current efforts to safeguard computer systems aren’t isolated to this initiative alone. The IT giant is also reportedly planning to implement technologies that will fight new malware threats at the hardware level. These include the Accelerated Memory Scanning and Advanced Platform Telemetry systems. Here’s a lowdown on these new promising technologies.

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Three simple steps to improving security patching

Patch download

The vulnerability scan results security departments issue to the operations teams typically contain hundreds of pages and thousands of vulnerabilities to address. It’s a massive list often containing some prioritization based on the criticality of the vulnerabilities observed; and for some more mature organizations, an assessment and opinion of the security team. Typically, operations teams care about security in the endpoints. But, their job is to guarantee uptime and user satisfaction, which often suffers when deploying patches requires reboots and application restarts. And then there’s the resource constraint issue, like the difficulty of prioritization in a world where everything seems to be urgent, the lack of visibility, questions around ownership and available time, and so on. It’s a tough ask to minimize the risk in the endpoints without a holistic, multi-departmental collaboration focused on specific risk policies and profiles.

Compliance pressure doesn’t help either, because frequently it ends up being just a check-box, and not a mechanism for improving security. Therefore, while the bare minimum is undertaken very reluctantly to satisfy the auditors, there’s still a significant amount of fire drill and distraction from the daily grind.

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New survey conveys the challenges of the Windows 10 migration

It has been heralded as the last version of Windows you will ever need. This is great news for internal IT. Rather than large abrupt OS version updates such as the cumbrous leap between Windows 7 and 8, the Windows-as-a-Service delivery of Windows 10 will allow for regular incremental improvements and updates. The expectation is to eliminate the arduous elongated process of OS migrations that require significant planning, training and working hours. For those who need any further incentive, there is also the impending end-of-life deadline in January 2020 for Windows 7. Of course, to get to Windows 10, you have to endure one final big upgrade.

Fortunately, Microsoft has taken great strides to simplify the Windows 10 migration process. New deployment methodologies that utilize images, task sequences and provisioning packages make the deployment process far more agile today. That does not mean there aren’t challenges in the process however. The hurdles instead lie in the standardization of the user workspace. It is the details of ensuring that all those configuration settings, applications, printers and security protectants are delivered to ensure a secure productive work environment.

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Traditional identity systems are the new battleship row

In 1941, the US Military was trying to save on security costs by mooring its battleships close together while they were in port. Aircraft were also parked neatly in rows. Many of the most valuable assets of the Pacific Fleet were all centralized in one convenient spot that was well organized, easy to find, and therefore easy to attack.

On 7 December 1941, a date that will live on in infamy, that is exactly what happened.

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This is how prioritization can save us from the shortage of cybersecurity professionals

It is no secret that the technology sector has a labor problem. As demand for new products and services continues to rise, we are simply not producing enough qualified developers to keep up. Just ask any company where their greatest pain point is and they will have hiring somewhere towards the top of that list.

This shortage is felt especially acutely when it comes to security professionals that understand both how code is written, and how to keep it secure. A 2018 report from the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) found that 51 percent of respondents reported shortages of cybersecurity skills as an area of concern. These concerns have been on the rise in recent years, spiking from a reported 23 percent in 2014 citing cybersecurity skills as a problem, up to the latest 51 percent statistic from this year.

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Smartphone apps may be secretly screenshotting you

With every new privacy scandal that erupts across the digital landscape, we smartphone users and digital nomads must ask ourselves the same question: Have we reached diminishing returns on the usefulness of modern technology? It seems sometimes like every new convenience arrives with a litany of security concerns attached.

The latest news to strike a blow to our expectations of digital privacy is that smartphone apps appear to have been taking screenshots of users' devices and records of their keystrokes without their knowledge.

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Introducing TagHelpers in ASP.NET Core

TagHelpers are introduced in ASP.NET Core MVC as a new way of writing server-side code that renders HTML tags (elements), that is much closer to the HTML format than to Razor.  TagHelpers represent a mechanism to add server-side processing to a regular HTML tag, which in many ways is very similar to Angular or React directives.

Compared to Razor, the code is way cleaner, there is no context-switching and no need to use @ escape sequence like in Razor.

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Live in the UK and need some local help? Try reaching out using Pinga

You know the score. You’re in the middle of cooking dinner and realize you’re missing a vital ingredient, but home alone. Do you have enough time to jump in the car and fetch it or can you leave it out?

If only there was a social network which enabled you to reach out to other people and ask them if they could pick the item for you, dropping it off on their way home.

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Cybersecurity: It's about time

time spiral

The sprawling and complex set of subjects we call cyber security can all be tied to one fundamental concept -- time. The time it takes a cyberattack to penetrate, the time from initial compromise to lateral movement across the network, the time it takes for an attack to be detected, to be analyzed, to be responded to and remediated.

Time is one of seven base quantities in the International System of Units upon which all other measures are constructed. No surprise then that it’s the single most important factor in cybersecurity program success.

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Football is not only 'coming home' -- it's coming to the office too

It’s been 28 years since England reached the semi-finals of The World Cup, and England fans across the nation have been glued to pub and living room screens, anxiously watching their team beat a path to success.

This year’s summer of sport has been an epic one for fans of England who have seen them win against Costa Rica 2-0, thrash Panama with a historic 6-1 score and beat Sweden 2-0. Not only that, but sports fans have also been tuning in with strawberries and cream to watch Djokovic and Federer return to the tennis courts at Wimbledon -- and strapping themselves in to watch Lewis Hamilton take on Sebastian Vettel on the Silverstone Circuit during Formula 1. But whilst action-packed summers are great for sports fans, they can create a dilemma for businesses: should they carry on with 'business as usual' or let their employees watch as the drama unfolds?

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From discrimination to invasions of privacy: The dangers of social media background checks

Social media background checks are slowly becoming the norm. According to CareerBuilder, 70 percent of employers use social media in some way to vet their employees. In most cases, these checks are innocent -- or at least well-intentioned. Employers want to make sure the people they hire are conducting themselves online appropriately and respectfully. No brand wants one of their employees sending out offensive tweets on a regular basis or badmouthing his or her boss on Facebook.

Intention is not the only thing that matters with social media background checks. In fact, employers can, and do, stumble into a mess of legal and ethical implications by looking at a job candidate’s Facebook page or Twitter account. Here are some of the biggest dangers of social media background checks.

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A rare breed of the brute-force: A history of one attack

While routinely working on the security of one e-commerce website, I encountered an unusual type of a brute-force attack that was fairly hard to mitigate. It was based on a delicately simple technique that made it stand out from the crowd. Read this article to learn what kind of an attack it was and how I succeeded in protecting my customer’s site against it.

As you know, a classic brute-force boils down to guessing credentials. For instance, threat actors take known user accounts and pick passwords for them based on certain criteria -- either by generating them on-the-fly or using dictionaries. This is the basic way to hack an account.

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Digital Operations is the enterprise's secret weapon against startups

In recent years, enterprises have encountered a new threat that is forcing them to rethink everything they thought they knew about business and technology: startups. These fledgling companies are not your father’s legacy enterprise. They are a new breed of business that thrives on being unbeatably fast, agile and flexible. And every mid-to-large sized company who cannot opt to just snap them up with an acquisition is at risk of losing significant market-share to these new kids on the block. And this concern is pervasive -- a recent report by Dell found that 78 percent of business leaders are threatened by startups, with half fearful that they will be rendered obsolete in just a few years.

So, what can business leaders do to ensure they have a foothold in the future? In short, learn from your competitors and modernize your IT by prioritizing strategic Digital Operations. While it's not as sexy as the headline grabbing trends like AI, it will have an immediate impact on your bottom line rather than questioning when you will see your ROI.

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How ridesharing companies do (and don't) use background checks

Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft are reshaping the transportation industry. In the past few years, these businesses have changed the way people explore cities, navigate to new travel destinations, and find their way home after a night at the bar.

While many consumers sing the praises of Uber and Lyft, there is one area in which these businesses have frequently courted controversy: background checks.

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